After rising to fame as a writer and performer on The Frost Report, Barker teamed up with Ronnie Corbett in the long-running comedy show The Two Ronnies. Always a prolific writer, Barker would submit sketches under the name Gerald Wiley, as he wanted the material to be accepted for it’s quality rather than his name.
He was also a respected actor, starring in the sitcoms Porridge and Open All Hours. Despite retiring in 1986, Ronnie Barker had started to make public appearances in the last few years. As well as playing Winston Churchill’s butler in the BBC drama The Gathering Storm, he was also honoured by BAFTA last year in Ronnie Barker: A BAFTA Tribute.