Ronnie Barker is dead

by Harry on October 4, 2005

Obit here.



Kieran Healy 10.04.05 at 8:11 am

[unable to help self]

So it’s goodnight from him, then.


Randy Paul 10.04.05 at 8:28 am

So I guess it’s down to one Ronnie.


Kieran Healy 10.04.05 at 8:58 am

I’ve always thought their _Mastermind_ sketch — the one where the contestant’s specialty subject is “Answering the question before last” — is a terrific piece of writing. Don’t know if Barker wrote it, though.


Chris Williams 10.04.05 at 9:08 am

The Grauniad has the ‘pismonouciation’ sketch here:,14173,1584727,00.html

Pure genius.


harry b 10.04.05 at 9:11 am

He wrote under the name Gerald Wiley — first because he wanted no favouritism in selction of sketches (on TW3 I think) and then just because it stuck. Several books particularly commend GW’s contributions to the Two Ronnies, without any apparent awareness of GW’s identity, so RB must have been pleased by that.

I loved the word play. And the fantastic radio performances in The Navy Lark (him and Jon Pertwee together are hilarious, even when you know exactly what they are going to say).


Syd Webb 10.04.05 at 9:19 am

I was surprised to see how young he was – born as recently as 1929.

When watching him on the telly in the 1970s – he could only have been in in 40s – he looked fairly old.

The last few months have not been good for TV comics.


P ONeill 10.04.05 at 9:28 am

[unable to help self]

Indeed — the E.J. Thribb (aged 17 1/2) basically writes itself next week.


johnhayter 10.04.05 at 9:50 am

Indeed—the E.J. Thribb (aged 17 1/2) basically writes itself next week.

As, I’m afraid, do the headlines in tomorrow’s tabs.


Urinated State of America 10.04.05 at 12:57 pm

The Phantom Raspberry Blower has blown his last.


Scott Simmons 10.04.05 at 3:40 pm

“The Grauniad has the ‘pismonouciation’ sketch here:”

Gosh, that would be really helpful to have, if I hadn’t already memorized it. It’s not the same without his delivery, anyway …

(Sniff.) Bye, Ronnie.


nick s 10.04.05 at 7:29 pm

Barker was one of many comedians and writers to get his big break in the post-war BBC radio comedies, as opposed to the music-hall. That’s the big difference between the Two Ronnies and, say, Morecambe and Wise or Les Dawson: there was much more verbal than physical comedy. The top-and-tail ‘newsreader’ bits could have worked equally well on the radio.

Anyway, we should light four candles for him.


Shane Dunphy 10.06.05 at 10:30 am

Have been meaning to post something about Ronnie Barker and his sad death. I grew up watching The Two Ronnies, and have always had a soft spot for Porridge. Watching a retrospective the night before last, I was struck by how much of his work I remembered, and just how incredibly funny it still is. He was an incredibly talented writer and a brilliant comedian, but also a tremendously gifted actor. I for one will sorely miss him.

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