Thursday 31 March 2016

And it's goodnight from him

Very sad to hear of Ronnie Corbett's passing. Watching The Two Ronnies on TV was very much a part of my childhood, and watching it now is still terrific. It calls to mind a simpler, gentler and altogether more joyful age.

The thing that I remember most from The Two Ronnies is not "Fork Handles" or any of the more commonly repeated sketches. Instead, it is one of their mini-serials that was broadcast in segments, ten minutes a week as part of their main show. It was called The Worm That Turned. Looking back now, I guess the inspiration for its theme - women ruling, men subjugated - was somewhat obvious, given the coterminous ascent of one Margaret Hilda Thatcher. At the time, though, I was about nine or so, and was probably more struck by the Two Ronnies wearing dresses and the female secret police having PVC uniforms. Here's the first episode - you can watch the whole story here.

I also recall a particular Two Ronnies musical number, in which they performed their version of The Drunken Sailor. It included the memorable lines:

Hooray and up she rises,
She's got knees of different sizes.
One's quite small and the other wins prizes,
Early in the morning.

In later life, I would adopt and adapt this as a drinking song. Happy days.


  1. They're nearly all gone now.

    1. I guess it comes with age - all your cultural touchstones expire.

  2. Too true,looked forward to every episode and watched with parents without cringing which is rare nowadays. Mind you looking back there was a lot of adult innuendo which went straight over my head. Who can forget the Phantom Raspberry Blower? And you weren't alone-there was something about those uniforms.....

    1. Ah yes, the Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town, another classic.

      As for the innuendo... something for all ages there!

      Glad to hear it's not just me that thinks of that era as a simpler, happier time. What is the modern televisual equivalent of a family sit-down together? Ant and Dec? Britain's Got Talent? Heaven help us...

  3. Precisely. Thank god for Strictly is all I can say!