Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett had first been seen together on BBC's The Frost Report back in 1966, and with London Weekend’s launch David Frost decided to bring them over to perform comedy sketches on Frost on Sunday.
During a break enforced by a technical glitch at the 1970 British Film and Television Awards the Two Ronnies filled in for time. They were spotted by BBC's Bill Cotton Jr who, after finding out that they wouldn't be returning to London Weekend, decided to make them an offer to the star in their own series. To prove that they wasn't mucking about BBC1's controller placed the show in the middle of his Saturday evening schedule alongside Doctor Who, Match of the Day, Ironside and the Saturday Western and would pretty much stay there for the rest of the show's lifetime.
Each show would run with the same menu from the first show to last, and each show would have musical guests. Tina Charles and Opportunity Knocks' winners New World were the guests for each show in the first series which proved so successful that it was given a second run in the summer as a part of BBC2's Show Of The Week strand.
Among the guests over the years would be Georgie Fame & Alan Price, Manhattan Transfer, Elton John, Phil Collins, Blue Mink, (ladies and gentlemen Miss) Barabra Dickson, The Nolans, The New Seekers, Clodagh Rodgers, Elkie Brooks, Kiki Dee, Madeline Bell, David Essex, Sheena Easton, Randy Crawford, Elaine Paige, and even finding room for Pan's People, moonlighting from Top Of The Pops, a show which would also be occasionally lampooned by the duo.
As well as the established musical guests occasionally hippie folk duo Jehosophat And Jones would appear, even making their own album for Philips in 1973.
Not only were the musical guests of a high calibre, but the show's writers featured Jones, Palin, Cleese, Chapman and Idle from Monty Python, Barry Cryer, David Nobs, Spike Milligan, an up and coming John Sullivan and Gerald Wiley (aka Ronnie Barker) who was responsible for the show's legacy, Four Candles.