The Two Ronnies Fact File

Did you know that at its peak The Two Ronnies sketch show was watched by up to 18 million people? Here's some more trivia you might not know about about the comedy duo.

The Two Ronnies Fact File
  • The Two Ronnies first met when Ronnie Corbett was working in the Buckstone Club (an actors club) and Ronnie Barker and his wife came in for a drink.
  • Ronnie Corbett auditioned for Stanley Kubrick to be one of the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey. He didn't get the part.
  • But he did land a part in the original Casino Royale - played Polo, a SMERSH agent.
  • In 1965 Ronnie Corbett appeared in Twang! A musical version of the Robin Hood story which turned out to be a disaster.
  • The Frost Report was the first time the two Ronnies worked together.
  • Ronnie Barker began to write as Gerald Wiley on Frost on Sunday.
  • Over 16 years there were 94 episodes of The Two Ronnies over 12 series.
  • In its heyday the show attracted up to 18 million viewers.
  • The Ronnie's wives, Anne and Joy, would always sit together in the centre of the audience - so they could call out to the audience if it was loud enough and the wives would shout back if they couldn't hear them.
  • Many of the serials in the show would be filmed in Dorset due to Ronnie Barker's love of the antique shops in the region and the plethora of golf courses that Ronnie Corbett liked to play.
  • Ronnie Barker won the BAFTA for best Light Entertainment Performance three years in a row from 1977 to 1979.
  • Both Ronnies jointly won the BAFTA for best Light Entertainment Performance in 1972.
  • In 2007 the script for the famous Fork Handles sketch sold at auction for £48,500. The handwritten script had turned up in an episode of the Antiques Roadshow in 2006 - the script was verified by Ronnie Corbett as being authentic and he suggested that it might have been previously donated to a charity fundraiser as Ronnie Barker would often donate items to charity events instead of appearing himself.
  • Ronnie Barker kept impending retirement a secret from everyone except Ronnie Corbett until after the recording of the 1987 Christmas special.
  • Ronnie Barker had a massive collection of postcards - reported to be in the region of 55,000.
  • Ronnie Barker was coaxed out of retirement in 2002, appearing as Winston Churchill's manservant in the TV film The Gathering Storm, then later alongside Maggie Smith in My House In Umbria.
  • Ronnie Barker was one of the actors originally wanted for the part of Claudius in the 1976 film I, Claudius, but it eventually went to Derek Jacobi. However, he reportedly turned it down as it would have interfered with the school holidays.