If I wear too much tartan I tend to look like a Thermos flask
Many of us probably remember comedian Ronnie Corbett sitting in an armchair.
Best known for his 20-year comedy partnership with Ronnie Barker, it was in his his meandering monologues on The Two Ronnies that the diminutive Scots performer really came into his own. As he settled down to tell a long joke – often including references to his favourite pastime, golf – Ronnie’s unexpected diversions were often much funnier than the joke’s punchline itself.
Born the son of a baker in Edinburgh, Ronnie started out in showbusiness in the early 1950s. Before long, he was on the TV, playing funny parts on kids’ show Crackerjack, while film roles included a butler in 1967’s Casino Royale a tongue-in-cheek take on the Bond story, starring David Niven as the famous spy.
Corbett first met Ronnie Barker in the Sixties and the two were paired up with John Cleese on TV’s The Frost Report. Standing in line, from tallest to shortest, the three performed the famous class system sketch, explaining how they looked down, or up, to each other.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Two Ronnies teamed up again in their own enormously popular series. Meanwhile, Ronnie Corbett enjoying a showbusiness sideline as a middle-aged librarian and mummy’s boy in the sitcom Sorry!
When Ronnie Barker retired in 1988, Corbett continued working on TV and radio, even making an odd-couple TV ad with singer Alice Cooper, and a hilarious cameo appearance on Extras.
Many celebrities were among the fans to pay Ronnie fulsome tribute when he died:"They just don't make 'em like him anymore," said comedian Harry Hill.