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Memorial Service

Regulars | By James Hughes-Onslow | August Issue

Ronnie Corbett CBE 1930-2016

Jimmy Tarbuck paid tribute to his old friend, Ronnie Corbett, at Westminster Abbey with the fabled Two Ronnies joke – confusing four candles with fork handles. Ronnie’s monologue chair was placed in front of the altar, as vergers carried in four candles. Tarbuck recounted his advice to Ronnie on how to meet the Queen: ‘Don’t bow too low or she won’t see you.’ He described Corbett as ‘5ft 2in in stature and 10ft in comedic talent’ – and told the congregation he did not understand why he had never received a knighthood, adding, ‘I’m taking the opportunity to make him a knight. All those in favour say, “Aye”.’ The nearest thing to a royal presence was the Duchess of York. Anne Corbett wore Ronnie’s CBE medal around her neck and sat in the front row with their daughters, Emma and Sophie. Ruthie Henshall sang ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’. Rob Brydon...

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