Comedy legend Ronnie Corbett passes away

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At the age of 85, comedian Ronnie Corbett has died surrounded by his family.

Ronnie Corbett, best known for his highly-regarded TV show The Two Ronnies, has been ill regularly for the past few years, ever since he collapsed in 2012 after a knee operation.

He suffered more problems in 2014 with his gall bladder and had been sick for the last few months leading up to his death.

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Ronnie Corbett (right) with his comedy partner Ronnie Barker

A consistent figure on UK’s television screens for the past 50 years, Corbett was a well-beloved comedian known for his story-telling abilities and his perfect comic timing.

His show The Two Ronnies, starring alongside his comedic partner Ronnie Barker who died in 2005, ran from 1971-1987 and produced many famous sketches, most notably the ‘Four Candles’ sketch.

The Scottish-born entertainer lived with his wife Anne Hart, with whom he celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary last year, and was the father of actresses Emma and Sophie.

All three were at his hospital bed when he passed away.

His publicist has released a statement that says “Ronnie Corbett CBE, one of the nation’s best-loved entertainers, passed away this morning, surrounded by his loving family. They ask that their privacy is respected at this sad time.”

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Ronnie Corbett after he received his CBE

Tributes to the ‘giant’ of the entertainment industry, a term meant figuratively as opposed to literally as Corbett stood at just 5ft 1in, a fact he liked to remind everyone of in his jokes, have come flooding in.

John Cleese, who started out with both Ronnies on The Frost Report, called him: “A great, kind mentor and a witty companion” while Bruce Forsyth, another stalwart of British TV, has stated: “We have all lost one of the greatest comedians and entertainers this country has known”.

Other tributes have come from the likes of Sir Michael Parkinson, Miranda Hart and Hugh Laurie.

The former Sorry! actor spent the last few years of his life dividing his time between his house in London and in Scotland, focussing on his favourite hobby, golf.

His last piece of work was starring in the Radio 4 comedy, When The Dog Dies.