Friday, October 3, 2014


Dear Valeria,

I have to tell you that all through my fifty years in the business, two words have always been in my thoughts – these two words are 'What luck'. What luck to have met, in the far-off days of weekly rep, a marvellous comedian called Glenn Melvyn, who gave me my first TV job and taught me how to stutter. What luck to have been in Oxford rep when a young Peter Hall arrived as director and brought me to London's West End. What luck that James Gilbert saw me do a radio show and put me in The Frost Report. What luck that the star of that show, David Frost, put me under contract, that resulted in Porridge and Open All Hours, and who paired me with the wonderful Ronnie Corbett. What luck to have had a wife for forty-five years, who throughout my television career, sat in the audience of every show and laughed louder than anyone else. And finally, standing here before you, with this most honoured award bestowed upon me by you, what luck, what wonderful luck, to be flanked on either side by my two best friends, Ronnie Corbett and David Jason. And I might cry, Gwyneth Paltrow, watch out.


Ronnie Barker

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