Ronnie Corbett: 60 years of making Britain laugh
- 31 December 2011
- From the section UK
Ronnie Corbett has been made a CBE for services to entertainment and charity in the New Year Honours. One of Britain's best loved comics, he has been performing for more than 60 years and puts success down to his family.
Famous for his rambling monologues and jokes about his short stature, at 81 Ronnie Corbett already has an OBE - picked up in 1978.
He is best known for starring in the BBC's TV sketch show the Two Ronnies alongside his late comedy partner Ronnie Barker. It began in 1971 and ran for 12 series over 17 years.
But the Edinburgh-born comedian began his career in the early 1950s.
He decided to go into showbusiness after playing the wicked aunt in a youth club pantomime in his home city, and after doing his national service in the Royal Air Force his first jobs were bit parts in film and theatre.
It was while performing as part of Danny La Rue's cabaret show at Winston's in London - a spell he describes as "very important" to his career - that he was first spotted by David Frost, who asked him to appear in 1960s satire The Frost Report.
He first rose to fame alongside John Cleese and Ronnie Barker on the show.
Corbett has not been shy of joining forces with the next generation of comic talent.
Much to the public's delight, he appeared as a mischievous version of himself in an episode of Extras five years ago, in which he snorts cocaine during the Baftas.
This summer he presented a two-part series, Ronnie Corbett's Comedy Britain, in which he delved into the comedy archive to find out who inspired stars such as The Office's co-creator Stephen Merchant, sitcom star Miranda Hart and Peep Show duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb, among others.
He has supported several charities during his career including the RNLI and Comic Relief, for which he teamed up with comedian Peter Kay in the charity video of Is This The Way To Amarillo?
In August he said that the secret to his success has been his happy family life.
Corbett, who married actress and dancer Anne Hart in 1965, said then: "My extremely happy marriage is the spine of the whole thing.
"I have a contented life with two lovely daughters, so that makes it all rather special."