Belfast Telegraph

British stars gather to honour comedian Ronnie Corbett

Ronnie Corbett was remembered at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday (07Jun17).

British stars including Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry gathered at London's Westminster Abbey for a memorial service celebrating comedian Ronnie Corbett on Wednesday (07Jun17).

The legendary entertainer passed away at the age of 85 in March last year (16).

Among the 2,000 attending the service of thanksgiving at the famous church where many of Britain's heroes are buried, were the actress Barbara Windsor, British royal Sarah, Duchess of York and funnymen Jimmy Tarbuck, Graham Norton and Rob Brydon.

According to BBC editors Lumley delivered a reading at the service and said the late star would be "would be absolutely delighted and amazed" so many were there to remember him.

His most famous comedy partnership was with Ronnie Barker, with their sketch show The Two Ronnies a fixture on British TV screens from 1971 to 1987.

One of the duo's most famous sketches was referenced in a tribute outside the service, as four candles were placed at the front of the abbey.

The beloved sketch featured Corbett as a bemused shopkeeper unable to work out if his customer wanted to purchase "four candles" or "fork handles".

Lumley said of the show, "The Two Ronnies were as good as it gets. They were at the top of the tree. They always left me in stitches and gasps of admiration."

His close friend Tarbuck also paid tribute to the star, referencing the illustrious figures commemorated in the abbey, where literary icons have their own "corner" memorial area.

"A full house for Ronnie. And why not. In a wonderful setting, Westminster Abbey. A house of heroes," he said. "(Winston) Churchill, (John) Betjeman and Corbett. And Poets' Corner. And Ron was a poet of comedy.

"He was 5ft 2in in stature and 10ft in comedic talent," he added.

Other speakers included Brydon, who performed his impression of Corbett, and veteran U.K. chat show host Michael Parkinson.

Also in attendance were David Walliams, Maureen Lipman, Penelope Keith, Graham Norton, Patricia Hodge, June Whitfield, Jo Brand, Julian Clary, Ben Elton, Patricia Routledge and Barbara Windsor.

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