British comedy great Ronnie Corbett dies aged 85
Ronnie Corbett, a successful British comedian best known for "The Two Ronnies", his double-act show with Ronnie Barker, died Thursday aged 85, his publicist said.
The show ran on the BBC from 1971 to 1987 and was one of the most popular light entertainment shows of the era.
Its opening titles featured the two sets of spectacles worn by its stars and it regularly closed with one of the best-known catchphrases on British television: "It's good night from me... and it's good night from him."
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."
While the cause of death was not immediately clear, it is thought that Corbett had been in poor health for some time.
His other celebrated roles included in 1960s satirical comedy show "The Frost Report" and "Sorry!", a 1980s sitcom about a fortysomething librarian who lives with his domineering mother and timid father.
Prime Minister David Cameron and British comedians rushed to pay tribute to Corbett following his death.
Cameron said the star had "the rare talent of making all generations laugh" and would be remembered as "one of the all time great comedians".
Ricky Gervais, who cast Corbett in an episode of his sitcom "Extras" in 2006, wrote on Twitter: "RIP the lovely, funny legend Ronnie Corbett. It was an absolute honour & joy to have known him."
John Cleese added on Twitter that Corbett "had the best timing I've ever watched. He was a great, kind mentor and a wonderfully witty companion."
Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, called Corbett "quite simply one of the true greats of British comedy".
Corbett, who was born in Edinburgh in 1930, leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
© 2016 AFP