HE was one half of Britain’s best-loved comedy duo.

But Ronnie Corbett, who died last month, was once cast as a Gibraltar barbary macaque in war film Operation Snatch.

Ronnie Corbett-1
RONNIE’S ROCK ROLE: Corbett’s barbary macaque star turn

Director Robert Day’s World War Two comedy, in which he appeared as the ape, led to Hollywood hotshot Kubrick offering Corbett a role as a monkey in his famous film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Speaking on a Graham Norton TV show, he recalled: “The theory was if there was a sudden drop in the population of barbary apes, the UK would lose control of Gibraltar.

“So they had soldiers playing barbary apes to make it look like there were loads of apes.”

“Kubrick really did ask to see me. He saw me in the Gibraltar (film). But I turned it down as it got too technical,” Corbett laughed.