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Statue of Ronnie Barker unveiled

A life-size bronze statue of comedian Ronnie Barker has been unveiled in front of his former co-stars Ronnie Corbett and Sir David Jason.

It was unveiled by his widow, Joy, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the town where the Two Ronnies and Open All Hours star began his acting career more than 60 years ago.

Internationally-acclaimed sculptor Martin Jennings depicted Barker as prison inmate Norman Stanley Fletcher from the classic 1970s series Porridge.

The 5ft 6in statue features the comedy actor, who died aged 76 in 2005, sitting on a stone bench with his arms crossed and looking up at the town's new Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, which opens next month.

The 220lb creation was modelled by hand last winter and then cast in bronze at the Pangolin Foundry in Gloucestershire during the summer.

Jennings, whose works include the statue of poet Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras station in London, said: "It has been delightful to make this statue of Ronnie Barker. He was a comic genius and he was a wonderful shape to sculpt."

Sir David, who played errand boy Granville in Open All Hours alongside Barker, told a news channel: "It's great to see him being represented in a place where he first started in theatre.

"He has given so much pleasure to so many people that he deserves a permanent place where people can come and say hello to him and thank him for all the laughs he has given all of us over the years."

Mrs Barker said her late husband would not have liked the attention surrounding him, adding that he would have adored the statue but would not have attended the unveiling. "He wouldn't have come here," she said. "He would have let it all happen without him."

Corbett, his long-standing comedy partner, described the statue as "very, very lovely... bigger than it should be really".


From Belfast Telegraph