R.I.P. Ronnie Barker

Sad news that one of Britain’s finest comedy actors and writers Ronnie Barker has died aged 76.

Porridge and Open All Hours were two of the best comedies the BBC have broadcast. With Barker playing two completely different characters so superbly that you never thought of Fletch while watching OAH and vice versa.

After seeing every Porridge episode a number of times and reading the book of the scripts I know it all off by heart but still laugh in all the right places, yeah I know he didn’t write the scripts but his timing was impeccable.

MO: Suffer from any illness?
Fletch: Bad feet.
MO: Suffer from any illness?
Fletch: Bad feet!
MO: Paid a recent visit to a doctor or hospital?
Fletch: Only with my bad feet! …
MO: Are you now or have you at any time been a practising homosexual.
Fletch: What, with these feet? Who’d have me?

Of course he did write his own stuff but not under his own name in case the others treated it more favourably, most notably the “Four Candles” sketch for “The Two Ronnies” show. The likes of which along with classics such as the “Mastermind” sketch and the various monologues that showed Barker’s verbal dexterity got the show that got 18 million viewers every week, yes one third of the country watched !

“Mastermind” and “Four Candles” sketches

Ronnie Barker obituary
Ronnie Barker’s best lines

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