Veteran comedian and long-time Croydon resident Ronnie Corbett has died aged 85.

The death of the much-loved entertainer, one half of the hit BBC sketch duo the Two Ronnies, was announced this morning by his publicist.

He died "surrounded by his loving family".

VIDEO: Five of Ronnie Corbett's best moments

Born in 1930 in Edinburgh, Mr Corbett had lived in Shirley for a number of years and was a Crystal Palace fan.

Over a career spanning more than 60 years, Mr Corbett became known as one of the most familiar faces on British television screens, in large part through his decades-long double act with Ronnie Barker.

A partnership that began on The Frost Report in the 1960s led to the pair's BBC show "The Two Ronnies", which played host to a number of memorable comedy moments - including the oft-quoted "Fork Handles" sketch. 

Mr Barker died in 2005.

Your Local Guardian:

A "portrait bench" dedicated to Mr Corbett, unveiled in Charles Street in 2013

Mr Corbett also starred as lovelorn librarian Timothy Lumsden in the 1980s BBC sitcom Sorry!, as well Reggie Sea Lions in the John Cleese-written film Sea Creatures.

In 2006 he demonstrated a willingness to send himself up by appearing in Ricky Gervais's Extras, playing an exaggerated version of himself who gets caught snorting cocaine at the Bafta awards.

Famous faces including David Walliams, Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, alongside a number of Croydon personalities, lined up to pay tribute to Mr Corbett on Twitter today.

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew said: "He contributed so much to entertainment. When I was growing up he and Ronnie Barker had me in stitches."

The comedian had been suffering from ill-health in recent years, according to the BBC. In 2012 he was rushed to hospital after collapsing during dinner at a Chinse restaurant in Purley.

In 2008 he was the guest of honour at the opening of the CALAT centre in New Addington, a facility aimed at providing education and training facilities for local adults.

RELATED: Ronnie Corbett opens learning centre

Following his speech to open the centre, the comedian prompted much laughter by picking up a large flower that had fallen off a display and placing it in his button hole.

In 2013 a "portrait bench" dedicated to Mr Corbett was unveiled in Charles Street in the town centre.

The comedian is survived by his wife, Anne Hart, and their two daughters, actresses Emma and Sophie Corbett.

Send your tributes to Ronnie Corbett to