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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ronnie Barker RIP

Ronnie Barker is dead. He was a large part of my childhood, a regular feature of weekend evening TV with his comedy partner, Ronnie Corbett. The popularity of the Two Ronnies was massive in the eighties, and in fact the affection that the Great British public had for their comedy sketches endured. It endured so well that it encouraged Barker to emerge from retirement to do introductions with Corbett for a four week run of the Two Ronnies Sketchbook earlier this year. It was a fantastic Friday night treat and did very well in the ratings.

Ronnie Barker was not just a comedian, he was a talented sketch writer, playwrite and film writer. He was an unparralled comedy actor involved in two of the best British sitcoms ever: Porridge and Open All Hours. Comedy Gold! Above all, though, he was a fine actor, first and foremost. He started as an actor and carried that into everything he did. He was apparently very shy and much preferred taking to the stage as someone else rather than as himself.

His influence on British comedy spanned the years and is evidenced by the warm and glowing tributes that have appeared from contempories, so-called alternative comedians and upto modern comics. Our only consolation is that he left a huge body of work behind for us to enjoy. 76 years old was too soon for him to leave.

Rest in peace, Ronnie.

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