Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Little Ronnie Corbett, comedy colossus, dies aged 85

Ronnie Corbett has died at the age of 85 surrounded by his family, his publicist has said.

He was best known for his role alongside fellow comedian Ronnie Barker in The Two Ronnies in the 1970s and 1980s.

A statement from his publicist said: "Ronnie Corbett CBE, one of the nation's best-loved entertainers, passed away this morning, surrounded by his loving family.

"They have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time."

He is survived by his wife Anne and their two daughters.

Ronnie Corbett, the diminutive half of The Two Ronnies - one of the funniest duos of their generation - was a highly versatile comedian who was just as much at home doing stand-up comedy (although usually sitting down) on his own, or sitcom characters, as he was with his famous partner Ronnie Barker.

His long professional association with Barker produced one of the most popular TV programmes of the late 20th century until Barker's retirement in the mid-1980s, after it had run for 12 series.

The Two Ronnies, which ran from 1971 to 1987, invariably ended with the two saying: "It's goodnight from me ... and it's goodnight from him."

Films he appeared in included Top of the Form, You're Only Young Once, Casino Royale, No Sex Please, We're British and Fierce Creatures.

His publications included: Ronnie Corbett's Armchair Golf, The Small Man's Guide To Life and his autobiography High Hopes. He was a keen and proficient golfer, and a member of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

Corbett was awarded a CBE in the 2012 New Year Honours for his services to charity and the entertainment industry. At a celebration to mark the award, Corbett collapsed in a restaurant in January, but recovered.

He was presented with the award by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in February that year.

Afterwards he admired his medal - which matched his blue and pink striped tie - saying: ''It's very pretty. It's a very lovely honour. I shall treasure it.''

The sketch show veteran has been involved with many charities, including the RNLI and the Variety Club.

In March 2014 Corbett was among the speakers at a memorial service at Westminster Abbey for Sir David Frost, who died the previous September, aged 74, while on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship where he was giving a speech.

Corbett was also among more than 200 celebrities and public figures who urged Scotland to stay part of the UK ahead of the country's historic vote on independence in September 2014.

He joined figures including Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Dame Judi Dench, Simon Cowell and Professor Stephen Hawking in signing an open letter to ''voters of Scotland'' calling on them not to leave the UK.

More to follow

Some of Ronnie Corbett's best jokes:

"French wine growers fear that this year's vintage may be entirely spoiled due to the grape treaders' sit-in."

"A cement mixer collided with a prison van on the Kingston by-pass. Motorists are asked to be on the look-out for 16 hardened criminals."

"We will be talking to an out of work contortionist who says he can no longer make ends meet."

"All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my right hand."

"This is a message for seven honeymoon couples in a hotel in Peebles: Breakfast was served three days ago."

"A man was marooned on a desert island. One day a beautiful woman arrives in a wet suit. 'When did you last have a smoke?' she asks. 'Five years ago.' So she gets out a cigar and he smokes it. She unzips her wet suit a bit and says, 'When did you last have a drink?' He said, 'Five years ago.' So she gets out a bottle of Scotch and he has a drink. Then she unzips her wet suit a bit more and says, 'And when was the last time you played around?' He looks at her in amazement and says: 'You're not telling me you've got a set of golf clubs in there?'"

"It was revealed in a government survey published today that the Prime Minister is doing the work of two men, Laurel and Hardy."

"There was a fire at the main Inland Revenue office in London today, but it was put out before any serious good was done."

"West Mersea police announced tonight that they wish to interview a man wearing high heels and frilly knickers, but the Chief Constable said they must wear their normal uniforms."

"We'll be talking to a car designer who's crossed a Toyota with Quasimodo and come up with the Hatchback of Notre Dame."

"After a series of crimes in the Glasgow area, Chief Inspector McTavish has announced that he is looking for a man with one eye. If he doesn't find him, he's going to use both eyes."

"A juggernaut of onions has shed its load all over the M1. Motorists are advised to find a hard shoulder to cry on."

"We've just heard that in the English Channel, a ship carrying red paint has collided with a ship carrying purple paint. It is believed that both crews have been marooned."

"I I wear too much tartan I tend to look like a Thermos flask."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph