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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 12:24 GMT
Abbey memorial for Ronnie Barker
Ronnie Barker
Ronnie Barker was remembered by colleagues, family and friends
A memorial service has taken place at London's Westminster Abbey in remembrance of comedian Ronnie Barker.

Open All Hours co-stars Sir David Jason and Lynda Barron were among 2,000 people paying tribute to the star, who died in October at the age of 76.

A number of tickets were also made available to members of the public.

Barker's comedy partner Ronnie Corbett delivered the eulogy. Actor Richard Briers and comic Peter Kay also gave readings at the service.

Corbett, whose association with Barker lasted 45 years, said he was "delightful".

"There were no dramas with him. He was calm, sweet, well-prepared and always a pleasure."

'Guvnor'

The comic also paid tribute to Barker's skill as a writer, joking: "He would write a sketch, I would queue for his lunch!"

Sir David Jason said: "I attribute most of what I've done and achieved to Ronnie Barker. I always called him the guvnor which he was for me."

Ronnie Corbett
Ronnie Corbett delivered the eulogy at the service

Actress June Whitfield said that she had fond memories of her friend when she arrived at Westminster Abbey.

"He had talent by the bundle. He was an actor and a very funny actor.

"I would never call Ronnie a comedian. He was a different kind of actor. He just disappeared into the role he was playing and magnificently," she added.

Monty Python star and TV presenter Michael Palin called the late star "a great example of how to play comedy".

"He just had a lovely sort of confidence about him. He wasn't a great showbiz character or anything like that, but he just knew how to do it," he said.

Popularity

Barker, who also starred in Porridge and Open All Hours, worked with Corbett on The Two Ronnies for many years.

At the height of its popularity, the BBC One show attracted audiences of 17 million viewers.

The comedian's widow, Joy, his son Larry and daughter Charlotte attended Friday's event.

But Barker's other son, Adam, who jumped bail last summer and fled the UK after being arrested on suspicion of downloading indecent images of children from the internet, was not there.

The service was be led by the Reverend Canon Robert Wright, Sub-Dean at Westminster Abbey.

It is only the third time a comic has received a memorial service at Westminster Abbey, after Joyce Grenfell in 1980 and Les Dawson in 1994.


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Watch Ronnie Barker's fellow comedians pay tribute



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