Ronnie Corbett’s wife: ‘Not goodnight from him’

Ronnie Corbett is not giving up on his TV career just yet, says his wife. Pic: Phil Wilkinson
Ronnie Corbett is not giving up on his TV career just yet, says his wife. Pic: Phil Wilkinson
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Ronnie Corbett’s wife has laughed off reports that the veteran Edinburgh comedian is about to retire.

It follows a health scare last week when the 83-year-old was hospitalised for two days after suffering chest and stomach pains and severe nausea.

It was then reported he was about to call it a day on his TV career with wife Anne quoted as saying he would not be doing any more TV and saying Ronnie was “no Bruce Forsyth.”

Today Anne, 80, said he husband was still fighting fit and has a number of projects on the go. She said: “He’s got contracts and commercials he is working on. Life goes on for Ronnie, as it always has done.”

She said Ronnie was also working on a TV pilot with fellow comedian Rob Brydon.

His wife said doctors kept him in for “several days” to carry out tests but have still to establish the cause of his illness.

The scare has prompted the Edinburgh-born TV star to consider putting his performing days behind him for good.

His wife said: “We didn’t know what was wrong. He was feeling sick in his stomach and he wasn’t well. The hospital ran lots of tests, he was in there for several days.” Although doctors have still to arrive at a clear diagnosis, the veteran performer was discharged in time to give a eulogy to close friend and broadcasting stalwart Sir David Frost during his memorial service at Westminster Abbey on Thursday.

Sir David died last August at the age of 74 after suffering a heart attack on a cruise ship. It was on Sir David’s 1960s show, The Frost Report, through which he met fellow comedian Ronnie Barker, that Mr Corbett first shot to fame, with the pair forging one of Britain’s best-loved TV partnerships in their long-running The Two Ronnies sketch programme.

Mr Corbett’s wife said her husband had insisted on attending Sir David’s memorial, where he joined high-profile guests including the Prince of Wales, Sir Michael Caine and Joanna Lumley.

“It was such an emotional day and Ronnie was determined to be there,” she said. “It was wonderful and very emotional. Ronnie wouldn’t have gone if he hadn’t been feeling okay then.”

It is the second time in less than two and half years that the TV star has had to be rushed to hospital.

On New Year’s Day 2012, he collapsed in front of his family at a Chinese restaurant, only months after undergoing a knee replacement operation.

But the performer’s resilience carried him through and, in February 2012, he had recovered enough to be able to attend Buckingham Palace to receive his CBE.