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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Family funeral for Ronnie Barker
Ronnie Barker
Ronnie Barker died aged 76 after a long period of heart trouble
Comedy legend Ronnie Barker has been cremated at a funeral attended by about 20 family members and close friends in Oxfordshire.

The humanist funeral came 10 days after the star of Porridge and The Two Ronnies died at the age of 76.

But his son Adam, who is wanted on child porn charges, did not turn up, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Co-stars Sir David Jason and Ronnie Corbett did not attend but are expected to go to a memorial service next year.

Barker's widow Joy was accompanied by daughter Charlotte and son Larry.

The funeral was held at Banbury Crematorium, near his home village of Dean.

Personal tribute

In the 30-minute service, Charlotte read a passage from Alice in Wonderland, which was one of the comedian's favourite books.

Celebrant Nigel Collins read out tributes from his friends including Corbett and director Sir Peter Hall.

Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett
Ronnie Corbett (right) will attend the memorial service in London
Mr Collins also read out a tribute compiled by the Barker family, in which they gave personal remembrances of the late actor.

Mr Collins said that by talking to Barker's widow and daughter he had formed an image of the actor as "purely a family person".

He recalled the BBC's Bafta tribute programme, in which stars recalled Barker's genius and generosity to other performers.

Mr Collins described how the "sheer genuineness of Ronnie's feelings came though" in the show.

"But no less sincere and heartfelt were the tributes from those he'd worked with most and some with whom he had developed a memorable chemistry," he said.

Afterwards, Mr Collins said the family's own tribute had been "quite private and not the sort of thing you would see in obituaries".

He said: "They talked about the years running the antique shop and how much he enjoyed that and what an unusual business it had been because it had Ronnie's own personality reflected in it."

Police presence

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said officers had still not tracked down Adam Barker and were "continuing to make enquiries to trace him".

Adam went missing after being arrested in June during a crackdown on child porn accessed via the internet. He was thought to have fled overseas.

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said their officers were at the crematorium to deal with the press.

Insp Justin Archer said: "Our officers were present at the funeral of Ronnie Barker today to provide a visible presence to reassure family members and guests and to ensure that his family were treated with dignity and respect."

Barker's Open All Hours co-star Sir David Jason was filming in Yorkshire on Thursday, his agent said.

Ronnie Barker was one of Britain's best-loved comic actors of the 1970s and '80s, and there was an outpouring of affection from fans and fellow comedians when he died.

His Two Ronnies sidekick Corbett described him as "pure gold in triplicate" while Jason said the world of entertainment had lost a "huge talent".



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