In 1971, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett teamed up for their first BBC series, a comedy show that would run for 16 years and become part of British television history. The two comedians. although never previously a double-act, complemented each other perfectly in appearance and style and their material, written by some of the top comic writers of the era, rarely failed to raise a smile and reduced many to hysterics. The structure of each show, framed by the pair reading spoof news items, soon became familiar to the millions of viewers. Every episode might include party, doctor or other situation sketches, mock-adventure serials, regular musical guests, Ronnie Barker's magnificent word-play speeches, a rambling monologue from Ronnie Corbett, guest cabaret acts and a musical extravaganza finale. Each part savoured by audiences that would average around 17 million at the show's peak. The first series was broadcast in 1971. Among the many highlights of the eight episodes were the 'Bald Man at a Party' sketch, a sequel to the famous 'Class' sketch with John Cleese, the period drama mini-series 'Hampton Wick', Ronnie Barker's 'Appeal on Behalf of the Very Clumsy' and musical appearances from Big Jim Jehosophat and Fat-Belly Jones.
- The Two Ronnies: Series 1 review by JD
The format seems very strange. The regular appearance of a solo female singer and a group of 3 singer/guitarists who did not become famous because they were so ordinary. The cabaret acts are also quite average as one might see at a village hall. Generally the highlights for me are the Corbett armchair monologues and the mock adventure serial "Hampton Wick". The sketches were not as good as I remembered and the jokes at the end were much worse. The good bits are 4 star but there are a lot of 2 star bits. The forward skip button will come in handy.