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R.i.p Ronnie Barker


Chris.S
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Comedy legend Ronnie Barker dies

Ronnie Barker entertained millions during his career

British TV comedy actor Ronnie Barker, who starred in Porridge and The Two Ronnies, has died aged 76.

One of the most loved and respected comedy performers of his generation, he was best known as one half of a double act with Ronnie Corbett.

But he also proved himself as an outstanding sitcom actor and script writer, winning four Bafta TV awards.

Chat show host Michael Parkinson told BBC News 24 he was "one of our very greatest comedy actors".

Barker's agent said the actor died peacefully on Monday with his wife Joy by his side, after a long period of heart trouble.

Laughs, big laughs, and laughs that you will always remember

Michael Hurll, The Two Ronnies producer

David Jason, his friend and co-star for many years in Open All Hours, was said to be "absolutely shocked and distressed".

His agent said she had spoken to Jason on Monday when he was told the news but he was still too distraught to speak.

John Cleese, who began his career with Barker on The Frost Report, said he was a "warm, friendly and encouraging presence to have when I started in television.

"He was also a great comic actor to learn from."

Former Monty Python star Michael Palin said: "I can't think of anyone who knew how to play comedy better than Ronnie Barker and I count myself enormously fortunate to have known and worked with him."

Last year Barker was awarded a lifetime achievement Bafta for his TV work and was honoured by a raft of contemporary comedians including Peter Kay.

That led to a return for The Two Ronnies on BBC One, 34 years after the show first appeared on TV screens and 17 years after he first retired from showbusiness.

Paying tribute on Tuesday, Kay said: "He made me laugh so much and I'm just so lucky to have been able to get to know my hero and the person that I aspire to be, my thoughts go out to Joy and the rest of his family".

Barker starred in two of the most popular sitcoms in BBC history - Porridge and Open All Hours, creating two classic characters, the laconic inmate Fletcher and the stuttering shopkeeper Arkwright.

The Two Ronnies ran for 15 years on the BBC

At the peak of his career Barker, along with his diminutive cohort Corbett, entertained 17 million people every Saturday night

The Two Ronnies ran for 15 years and delivered comic sketches, funny songs and old-fashioned tall tales.

The most popular light entertainment programme of its day, every programme ended with Corbett bidding the audience "goodnight from me", to which Barker would add "and it's goodnight from him".

I put him in the same league as Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers

Barry Cryer

Paying tribute Michael Hurll, producer of The Two Ronnies, said the comedian delivered "laughs, big laughs, and laughs that you will always remember.

"We will never see his like again."

The BBC head of comedy Jon Plowman said Barker was "just a genius".

Michael Parkinson added: "He was not just a comedian. He had a writer's ear for a good script and was a very good writer himself."

Writer Barry Cryer, who had known Barker for 40 years, said: "He was a one-off. I put him in the same league as Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers."

Barker leaves his wife and three children, actress Charlotte Barker, the actor Adam Barker and Larry Barker

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Absolutely gutted, the man's a God of comedy, the world will be a worse place without him. How he was never knighted when you had the likes of David Beckham & the England Eggchasing World Cup winning squad getting MBE's I'll never, ever know. My thoughts are with his family

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Made me laugh whenever I saw any of his shows/sketches, truly a master of comedy!

A great loss to british television, but thankfully we have him immortalised forever in some of our favourite shows.

R.I.P.

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Very sad....

Indeed our wishes go out to his family and friends... always made me laugh whenever he was on TV, the sketches were timelessly funny...we are a lucky nation to have had him

RIP

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God bless you Ronnie, your "4 candles/fork handles  sketch " will last forever :yes: .

No one can top that, true hero!! Ronnie you will truly be missed!! :( R.I.P.

yes he will be missed :(

the entire sketch in the hardware shop was fantastic :yes:

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I'll echo all the comments made above.

He was a brilliant comedian / actor and a really nice guy too.

The Two Ronnies was one of the best sketch shows on TV for a long long time and the hardware store sketch (4 Candles "handles for forks") etc is IMHO the funniest sketch EVER.

And porridge is still one of the best sitcoms ever made.

Ronnie will be VERY much missed.

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I grew up watching the Two Ronnies, Porridge, Open All Hours... watching the end of Open All Hours on a Sunday night meant bedtime for me as school next morning, will miss his humour very much... a sad day indeed R.I.P Ronnie.

Same here mate, the man was a legend and will be greatly missed :yes:

R.I.P

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It's a shame, what a legend!

From the days of Open all Hours and cries of "G-G-G-Ger-Granville, F-F-F-Fer-Fetch yer cloth" and Porridge (those of you who have seen the feature length version where they break out of prison and break back in again will know what i mean) he will be missed!

He was and always will be a British institution in our time!

Farewell Ronnie! :crybaby:

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