An awful lot about Ronnie Corbett will already have been said. But this is a blog about sitcoms and writing, so let's say a couple of things about that.
Mr Corbett himself would've been puzzled by all this, I'm sure. When you're doing a juggernaut weekly TV show, with a monologue, as well as sketches, you need material. You need writers. And The Two Ronnies had some of the best. This why, sketch for sketch, I'd probably choose the Two Ronnies over Morecambe and Wise.
Corbett evolved his own chatty, jokey style that was unlike anything else - but the words were written. Just like Frankie Howerd's routines were. They just didn't look it. Because the writing and performance were working in perfect harmony.
And when you look back at Sorry!, which ran for seven series from 1981-88, you won't find an overlooked classic. You will find a show that was very watchable at the time, spawning a household catchphrase (Language, Timothy!), entertain millions of people over the course of 42 episodes. This, we should remember, is no small thing.
We really love to celebrate 'the greats', and 'the classics' and wonder how we'll ever achieve those heights again - and remake them assuming we won't. It seems odd to me that we don't really do the things that brought about these classics. Armstrong and Miller have run for a few years on BBC1. But not Mitchell and Webb. (Why not?!) Tracey Ullman's show has been on at 10.40pm. This huge sketch comedy shows are the launchpad for huge sitcoms. Is it any wonder we're not getting these big, crowd-pleasing, mainstream sitcom hits when we just expect them to appear out of thin air?
But I digress. For now, let's celebrate the late great, but tiny, Ronnie Corbett. I wear this T-Shirt today for him.
And let's have a listen to Matt Berry and his band playing the theme from Sorry! (in memory of Ronnie Hazlehurst who died back in 2007).