Barker out of retirement

Ronnie to play Churchill's valet

Ronnie Barker is to come out of retirement for a big-budget BBC film about Winston Churchill.

The comic actor has rarely appeared in the limelight since he retired 13 years ago to run an antiques shop in Chipping Norton.

But the 72-year-old has agreed to play Churchill's manservant, Inches in the film A Lonely War, to be shown next year.

Barker's friend Albert Finney will play the wartime leader, The Guardian reports.

Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jacobi, Jim Broadbent and Celia Imrie will also appear in the film, overseen by its executive producer, Gladiators director Ridley Scott.

Since his retirement, Barker has turned down almost all offers of work in television, except for a reunion with former partner Ronnie Corbett in 1999.

A new edition of Barker's collected works - All I Ever Wrote - was released last week. Click here to save £3 at

Published: 16 Oct 2001

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