Pint-sized Ronnie Corbett is handed big honour

Ronnie Corbett received an OBE in 1978
Ronnie Corbett received an OBE in 1978
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COMEDY legend Ronnie Corbett is set to receive an award from the Queen in the New Year Honours list.

The pint-sized Edinburgh performer, who shot to fame as one half of The Two Ronnies along with Ronnie Barker, is expected to be handed a CBE to add to the OBE he received in 1978, along with his long-term comedy partner who died in 2005.

Corbett, 81, will be told of his second honour tomorrow when the Honours list is announced.

The keen golfer has been a favourite face on British TV screens since the 1950s and, despite his years, still makes regular appearances.

In recent years, these have included cameos on Ricky Gervais’ series Extras and Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ Little Britain, as well as presenting Strictly Come Dancing in 2009 when Sir Bruce Forsyth missed a show through illness.

As well as his contribution to showbiz, he does a large amount of work for charities including the RNLI, Comic Relief and other causes.

Corbett, who has a retreat in East Lothian, first went into entertainment after service in the RAF where he was the smallest officer in the forces at 5ft, one-and-a-half inches.

He first worked with Barker on The Frost Report and they appeared with John Cleese in a famous sketch about British class attitudes in 1966.

Corbett and Barker were given their own show, The Two Ronnies, in 1971. It ran until 1987 and is remembered for many hilarious sketches, including the “four candles/fork handles” routine, the pair’s misadventures as bungling private eyes Charley Farley and Piggy Malone, the spoof news items which closed every show and their famous sign-off, “It’s a goodnight from me and it’s a goodnight from him.”

Corbett was famed for the prolonged monologues which were a key part of the show, delivered from an easy chair wearing a trademark V-neck golf jumper.

As well as The Two Ronnies, Corbett appeared as Timothy Lumsden in sitcom Sorry! from 1981 to 1988.

In 2005, he and Barker got together again for The Two Ronnies Sketchbook, which combined selections from their previous sketches with new material.

Corbett has been married to his wife, Anne Hart, since 1965 and the couple have two daughters, Emma and Sophie.

Earlier this year, he questioned why so many talented entertainers never received knighthoods. He cited Barker and magician Tommy Cooper as big names who should have been given them. He said he did not expect to be knighted, arguing there were others in the line before him.