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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 22:49 GMT
Fork handles script makes 48,500
Fork Handles sketch - lithograph courtesy of Original Memorabilia Company
The classic Fork Handles sketch was first broadcast in 1976
The original script for the classic Two Ronnies Fork Handles sketch has been sold at auction for 48,500.

The sketch, written by the late Ronnie Barker, sees the comedian trying to buy fork handles and being offered four candles by shopkeeper Ronnie Corbett.

The handwritten script, which turned up in 2006 on BBC One's Antiques Roadshow, was purchased by a private buyer.

Barker and Corbett teamed up for The Two Ronnies between 1971 and 1987, with peak audiences of more than 17 million.

'Important piece'

Chris Atkins, of auction organisers Original Memorabilia Company, said: "We had literally hundreds of telephone calls about the auction, but because of the price of the script, only a few of those were in a financial position to place bids.

"We're delighted it has been such a success, but not surprised, as it was a fantastic chance to own arguably one of the most important pieces of television memorabilia there is."

The sketch - first aired in 1976 - was written on four sides of A4 lined paper in red ink and features its original title, Annie Finkhouse.

Fork Handles script
The script was handwritten by Ronnie Barker in red ink

The script went on to be voted the greatest Two Ronnies sketch in a TV special.

As the sketch continues, Corbett's character becomes increasingly irritated with workman Barker's requests for items with double meanings.

Barker and Corbett first worked together on The Frost Report and Frost on Sunday before making 12 series of The Two Ronnies.

The duo reunited for The Two Ronnies Sketchbook shortly before Barker's death in 2005.

Corbett confirmed the authenticity of the script on television earlier this year.

"It was quite sweet for me to see his handwriting again," he said.

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