Saturday, January 05, 2013

Sheriff amused at theft of four candles

A sheriff provided light relief in Perth court after revisiting one of the greatest moments in British television comedy. Sheriff Lindsay Foulis invoked the spirit of The Two Ronnies after discovering a woman had been accused of stealing four candles. He asked the procurator-fiscal depute: "Are messrs Barker and Corbett to be witnesses for the Crown? It has certainly brightened up my Thursday."

Four Candles is the best known sketch from the BBC show and was voted the funniest moment on television during the 1970s. Dionne Mills, 27, of Perth, is accused of stealing four candles from Dobbies Garden Centre in Perth on June 19 last year. She was not present in court, but the charge was denied by her legal representative on her behalf and she will go on trial later this month.

The Four Candles sketch, written by Ronnie Barker, used a play on words to create confusion between a shopkeeper and his frustrated customer. A script for the sketch in Barker's handwriting was discovered on the Antiques Roadshow in 2006 and subsequently authenticated by his partner Ronnie Corbett. It sold at auction for £48,500 in 2007.

YouTube link.

The sketch was inspired by a real incident in a hardware shop in Middlesex, details of which were submitted by the owners as possible sketch material. At Barker's memorial service in Westminster Abbey, the cross was accompanied up the aisle by four candles instead of the usual two.

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