This Mother’s Day, as always, Ann Hart will sit down to lunch with her husband, their two daughters, Emma and Sophie, and four grandchildren – just like many mums up and down the country. So far, so normal, until you consider this is one of the most grounded showbiz families in Britain: Ann’s husband, and Emma and Sophie’s dad, is Ronnie Corbett (hence Sophie’s shop being named after The Two Ronnies’ timeless Four Candles sketch).
In the Corbett clan, mother-daughter time is a priority 365 days a year, along with freshly cooked food for these self-confessed foodies, and a support network of people ready to listen. They don’t need a reason to spend time with each other; it comes naturally, with daily phone calls and frequent visits meaning they’re a constant presence in each other’s lives. Chatting with Ann and Sophie, I find their warmth is infectious and their throaty laughter echoes around the room.
You only have to look through a pile of their family photos to get a real sense of this close-knit gang, beaming and giggling together. There are no diva tantrums here – just lots of singing, laughter and, with six lively dogs to walk between them, presumably a few muddy paw prints. In May, Ann and Ronnie will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, and it’s clear they’re still besotted with each other. Sophie, reflecting on their dynamic, says: “That quote, ‘Behind every great man, there’s an amazing woman’ is so true. My parents are very much a team, an equal partnership, and very loyal.”
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