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Saturday 24 September 2016

'Four candles' tribute as stars say farewell to comic Ronnie

Rob Brydon and David Walliams at Ronnie Corbett’s funeral. Photo: PA
Rob Brydon and David Walliams at Ronnie Corbett’s funeral. Photo: PA
Comic great Ronnie Corbett. Photo: PA

Four candles burned at the back of the altar as icons from the golden age of British television paid their respects at the funeral of Ronnie Corbett.

The entertainer died last month aged 85 having been diagnosed with a suspected form of motor neurone disease.

A service attended by family and friends was held at the St John the Evangelist Church near his home in Shirley, Croydon, south London.

The candle display referenced one of Corbett's most popular sketches as part of The Two Ronnies alongside Ronnie Barker, known as Four Candles - or Fork Handles.

Stars, including Barry Cryer, Michael Parkinson, Harry Hill, Jimmy Tarbuck, Rob Brydon and David Walliams, were among the mourners.

After the ceremony, Parkinson said the service "hit exactly the right note", adding: "It was the least showbizzy funeral I've been to. He wasn't a very showbiz person in that sense. He was unaffected by fame and recognition. It didn't bother him," the former chat show king said.

Manners

He said Corbett was "a serious man, he was an intelligent man", adding that he was a "stickler" for manners.

Before the service, comedian Jimmy Tarbuck said Corbett was a "great guy" and added that the atmosphere would be "very sad for the family and for all his friends".

He went on: "He was much loved. Very correct guy, very funny fellow. Disciplinarian - I think that was because he was an officer in the RAF. But he was great company."

Prompting cheers from mourners nearby, Tarbuck said: "Much loved, and should have been knighted. That's definitely my opinion."

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