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Comedy legend Ronnie Barker dies


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Comedy legend Ronnie Barker dies

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".

BBC reporter Charlotte Hume said: "His wife wanted everyone to know that he died at home peacefully."

The actor had a long history of heart trouble.

Last year he was awarded a lifetime achievement Bafta for his TV work.

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 had first retired from showbusiness.

Barker also delivered a number of dramatic performances, most recently as Winston Churchill's manservant in the award-winning TV film The Gathering Storm and in HBO film My House in Umbria.

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

"He was not just a comic. He had a writer's ear for a good script and was a very good writer himself," added Parkinson on Tuesday.

"He was also a generous performer. He was uneasy with the fame that came with the job.

"He was an object lesson to a lot of people who seek the limelight with half his talent."

Paying tribute Michael Hurll, producer of The Two Ronnies, said: "We will never see his like again.

"You felt safe with him. The whole family could watch him."

He said the comedian delivered "laughs, big laughs, and laughs that you will always remember".


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

"He had an everyman quality and he loved words. He could just do it.

"He was a perfectionist and I think we can all respect that.

"He was an extraordinary guy and an encourager as well as a brilliant performer and writer."

BBC arts correspondent David Sillito told BBC News 24: "In many ways Barker and Corbett were the heirs to Morecambe and Wise."

In an interview with the BBC looking back on his career, Barker once said: "I would like to be remembered as one of the funniest men people have seen on TV."

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:( R.I.P.

Everything he's done is brilliant. Two Ronnies, Porridge and my personal favourite, Open All Hours. What CSAMH said is true; the comedy legends are slowly going.

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