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Vale: Ronnie Corbett

Veteran UK entertainer, best known for sketch show The Two Ronnies, has died aged 85.

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Veteran UK entertainer Ronnie Corbett, best known for sketch show The Two Ronnies, has died aged 85.

He passed away this morning surrounded by family, his publicist confirmed.

Corbett was one of the UK’s best-loved comedians and along with Ronnie Barker, their double act was one of the most successful of the 1970s and ’80s.

The Two Ronnies ran from 1971 to 1987 and always began with the pair reading news headlines, along the lines of: “A man from Dagenham has named his son TGF 308F. He said he may not be rich but when he eventually leaves his son his Ford Mondeo, at least he’ll have his own personalised number plate.”

Corbett appeared in the BBC childrens’ show Crackerjack as a regular in its early days, and had a walk-on in an early episode of the 1960s TV series The Saint and appeared in several films including Rockets Galore!Casino RoyaleSome Will, Some Won’t.

In 1965 he was spotted in cabaret by David Frost saw him and asked him to appear in the weekly satricial show, The Frost Report, where he first met Ronnie Barker. Corbett said he and Barker were drawn together as two grammar school boys who had not gone to university.

After appearing in several other TV shows, including his own The Corbett Follies, the BBC launched his legendary television comedy show with Ronnie Barker,The Two Ronnies, which was watched by 22 million viewers.

In the 90s, he appeared on the première of the short-lived BBC game show Full Swing and also had a role in the film Fierce Creatures, written by his former colleague John Cleese.

He also played Po in children’s animated series, Teletubbies,  whilst he hosted the game show Small Talk.

Source: BBC, Guardian, RTE

15 Responses

  1. Wow…watched a lot of Teletubbies…did not know he was Po…always enjoyed the Ronnies work…
    Just reading….A source said: “Ronnie had been nominated for a knighthood and the panel had recommended to the Queen that the honour be bestowed.
    “He would have been named in the Queen’s official Birthday Honours List.
    The 5ft 1in star, 85, had been secretly battling motor neurone disease for a year….*sad*

  2. Many, many found memories of both Ronnies as a kid. Ronnie C still had it a few years ago with his One Ronnie special. My favourite part of the show was the many musical numbers, especially Up Cat Pole Cat as Jehosophat and Jones. RIP Ronnie.

  3. There was a series called “The Two Ronnies : Sketchbook” which had a lot of their earlier sketches in full – they hosted it in 2005 and it was just before Ronnie Barker passed away – he still had that natural laugh at their jokes, but looked frail. Look it up on YouTube 🙂

  4. I have to add a sad echo to other comments reminiscing about Friday nights on Channel 2 with The Two Ronnies. They made my childhood happier. I am forever indebted to the two gentlemen who brought such light and laughter into my unhappy house. Indelible.

  5. Vale Ronnie.
    By all accounts a really sweet and very witty man.
    Was only very recently watching some talk show or other featuring Ronnie and thinking gee, he must be getting on now.
    He really hadn’t changed much at all. He looked great for his age and was in fine form.
    Used to love watching The Two Ronnies, along with The Dave Allan show, as a young kid, with my dad. Was his favourite show…

  6. The Two Ronnies always brightened our Friday night viewing. The humour is in “dad” territory these days, but hasn’t dated in terms of political correctness to the same extent as many of their contemporaries.

  7. Some things make turning on the TV worthwhile, the Two Ronnies was among them.
    Go to YouTube and watch “St. Botolph Country Dance Team” or “Aldershot Brass Ensemble” for examples of the brilliant comedic timing of Ronnie and Ronnie.
    Sadly, its Goodnight to him.

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