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Entertainer Ronnie Corbett Dies Aged 85

He was one half of The Two Ronnies alongside the late Ronnie Barker.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Entertainer Ronnie Corbett has died aged 85, his publicist has confirmed.

Rebecca Naden / PA WIRE

The actor and comedian died surrounded by family, a statement said.

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

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

The two Ronnies, 1978.

The two Ronnies, 1978.

He was best known for his sketch show with the late Ronnie Barker, The Two Ronnies, which ran from 1971 to 1987.

After his death was announced people began sharing the show's "Four Candles" sketch, widely regarded as one of the funniest ever on British TV.

Of course I'm now going to spend the next hour looking up Ronnie Corbett / Ronnie Barker sketches...

In 2010 he starred in an updated version of the sketch with Harry Enfield.

View this video on YouTube

Many people said they would light four candles in Corbett's memory.

As seems appropriate, I will be lighting four candles in memory of the great and good Ronnie Corbett.

tonight I shall light Four Candles. RIP Ronnie Corbett

I'll be lighting four candles to remember Ronnie Corbett #RIPRonnieCorbett

Aw Ronnie Corbett. Someone should light four candles in his memory.

Corbett regularly appeared on panel shows and made cameos in other comedies, including Extras.

Ronnie Corbett and Ricky Gervais on The Graham Norton Show.
Jonathan Brady / PA WIRE

Ronnie Corbett and Ricky Gervais on The Graham Norton Show.

He also famously fell off a treadmill while recording the video for Peter Kay's charity single "Is This the Way to Amarillo", but after seeing the clip decided it was funny and asked for it to be kept in.

Entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth said today was “one of the saddest days of my life”.

“Ronnie was a friend, someone I admire so much. It’s a very, very sad day, I’m going to miss him like crazy,” he told BBC News.

A range of other stars paid tribute to Corbett.

Goodbye my friend and comedy idol #RonnieCorbett Thank you for all the laughs. It was the greatest honour to know and work with you.

RIP the lovely, funny legend Ronnie Corbett. It was an absolute honour & joy to have known him.

#RonnieCorbett One of the loveliest Kumars guests, always generous with his time & genuine off the cuff wit . A sad goodnight from him #RIP

So saddened that Ronnie Corbett has passed away. A truly great comedian, a great man and a great friend. He was one of the special ones. RIP

And it's good night from Ronnie Corbett . Thanks for all the laughs mate.

So sad to hear the news about Ronnie Corbett, I've always loved his work. .. A true legend , my thoughts are with his family xx

Prime minister David Cameron described Corbett as "one of the all-time great comedians", while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the entertainer, who was of short stature, was a "giant of British entertainment".

Corbett next to a statue of his long-time comedy partner and namesake, who died in 2005.
Steve Parsons / PA WIRE

Corbett next to a statue of his long-time comedy partner and namesake, who died in 2005.

Matthew Champion is a deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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