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Ronnie Corbett dies aged 85

PUBLISHED: 12:30 31 March 2016 | UPDATED: 16:17 31 March 2016

Comedian Ronnie Corbett pictured in 1995. Photograph by Fiona Hanson/PA

Comedian Ronnie Corbett pictured in 1995. Photograph by Fiona Hanson/PA

Entertainer Ronnie Corbett died today aged 85 surrounded by his family, his publicist has said. The comedian started his career in Cromer.

Ronnie Corbett opens the new lifeboat museum in Cromer.Ronnie Corbett opens the new lifeboat museum in Cromer.

Ronnie visited Norfolk many times. He started his stage career in Cromer in the 1950s, with shows at the pier; he did his first ever solo stand-up act in Great Yarmouth and briefly lived in Caister.

He was back in Cromer in April 2006 to open the Henry Blogg museum in the seaside resort, and one of the episodes of his 1980s TV show Sorry! was called “Cromer or Bust”.

Ronnie Corbett playing golf at the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club in Brancaster, for a Princes Trust Charity Day in 2007.Ronnie Corbett playing golf at the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club in Brancaster, for a Princes Trust Charity Day in 2007.

A statement from his 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.”

File photo 16/02/12 of comedian Ronnie Corbett after he received his Commander of the British Empire (CBE), as Corbett has died aged 85. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 31, 2016. See PA story DEATH Corbett. Photo credit should read: Rebecca Naden/PA WireFile photo 16/02/12 of comedian Ronnie Corbett after he received his Commander of the British Empire (CBE), as Corbett has died aged 85. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 31, 2016. See PA story DEATH Corbett. Photo credit should read: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

Born Ronald Balfour Corbett in Edinburgh, he and Ronnie Barker rose to fame in the popular BBC comedy sketch show The Two Ronnies.

Corbett also had a starring role in David Frost’s The Frost Report.

John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett during filming of The Two Ronnies. Photo: BBC/PA WireJohn Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett during filming of The Two Ronnies. Photo: BBC/PA Wire

The Two Ronnies is still hailed as one of the most popular TV programmes of the late 20th century.

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

Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker during filming of The Two Ronnies. Photo: BBC/PA WireRonnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker during filming of The Two Ronnies. Photo: BBC/PA Wire

He performed in Cromer in 1956, where he was billed as ‘Ronald Corbett’ in a play called Take it Easy, co-starring with Graham Stark.

The comedian also performed at the Britannia Pier in Yarmouth in 1971 and the Royal Aquarium Theatre in Great Yarmouth between June and August 1963.

Ronnie Corbett opens the new lifeboat museum in Cromer in 2006.Ronnie Corbett opens the new lifeboat museum in Cromer in 2006.

In 1962 he appeared with Harry Secombe in Yarmouth and stayed in Caister during this time.

“We managed to find a bungalow at Caister, near Yarmouth, which was conveniently close to the golf course,” he recalled in his autobiography. “It was in that season at Great Yarmouth that I did my first ever stand-up act on my own. It happened because Wilson, Keppel and Betty decided to retire.”

“I returned to Yarmouth a couple of years later to do a pre-season show when the town was full of old age pensioners who were getting a cheap deal.”

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