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Former RAF Officer And Comedian Ronnie Corbett Dies


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Yesterday, it counted down to no Ronnies.

Former RAF Officer And Comedian Ronnie Corbett Dies
Tributes have been paid to Scottish actor and comedian Ronnie Corbett, who has died at the age of 85.

Born Ronald Balfour Corbett in Edinburgh in 1930, one of three children of William Balfour Corbett, a master baker, he and Ronnie Barker rose to fame in the popular BBC comedy sketch show 'The Two Ronnies'. A statement from Corbett's publicist said:

"Ronnie Corbett CBE, one of the nation's best-loved entertainers, passed away this morning, surrounded by his loving family. They have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time."

Less well-known than his television career, however, was his time spent serving in the Royal Air Force.

Corbett served in the RAF as an aircraftman 2nd class during his national service, before being commissioned into the Air Force's secretarial branch as a pilot officer (national service) in May 1950.

During his time in service, he was the shortest commissioned officer in the British Armed Forces, receiving the service number 2446942.

Corbett's period of active service ended when he was transferred to the reserve (national service list) on 28 October 1951, although he was promoted to flying officer in autumn the following year.

He had begun his acting career at the age of 15, when he starred in a pantomime at his local church youth club.

Following National Service he continued to pursue a career in entertainment, moving to London and Gravesend, and starting his career by playing schoolboy roles in films.

Corbett was suited to playing younger roles than his years because of his height - 5 ft 1 in (1.55 m) - with references to his short stature frequently cropping up throughout his career in his self-deprecating humour.

He achieved prominence in David Frost's 1960s satirical comedy show 'The Frost Report', where he first worked with Ronnie Barker, before starring in the sitcom 'No – That's Me Over Here!' and then the Two Ronnies, which is still hailed as one of the most popular TV programmes of the late 20th century.

Barker died in 2005 at the age of 76. Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said:

"Ronnie Corbett was a wonderful comic and entertainer. A man of great charm and warmth who brought laughter and joy to millions. He was quite simply one of the true greats of British comedy. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Corbett and his wife, Anne Hart, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year.

The much-loved actor was awarded a CBE in the 2012 New Year Honours for his services to charity and the entertainment industry.

His wife later revealed that, during a celebration to mark the achievement, he had collapsed in a restaurant and was rushed to hospital.

Corbett recently appeared on the BBC Radio 4 show 'When The Dog Dies', which saw him reunited with the writers of another of his hit sitcoms, 'Sorry!'

An appropriate (for a military-centric site) demonstration of his talent, along with the other Ronnie is in this from "The Two Ronnies".
And it's good night from him.  I loved the 2 Ronnies, on more than one occasion they had me in stiches.