Comedy legend Ken Dodd dies aged 90

The comic, who was from Liverpool, described ‘one of the last of the music hall greats’

British stand-up comedian Ken Dodd has died aged 90, Dodd was famous for his stand-up shows, as well as his Diddy Men and tickling stick. Video: BBC/ITV/Border Television/VVL

 

British comedy legend Ken Dodd has died aged 90, his publicist has announced. The star, famous for his epic stand-up shows, as well as his Diddy Men and tickling stick, died just days after leaving hospital.

He married Anne Jones, his partner of 40 years, on Friday at their home in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash, which was also the one he was born in.

His publicist Robert Holmes said: “To my mind, he was one of the last music hall greats.He passed away in the home that he was born in over 90 years ago. He’s never lived anywhere else. It’s absolutely amazing.

“With Ken gone, the lights have been turned out in the world of variety.

“He was a comedy legend and genius.”

He added: “He asked Anne if she wanted to marry. They got the registrar and were married in the house on Friday. He died two days later on Mother’s Day. Anne is obviously very upset. They had been together for 40 years.

“It’s a love story to beat them all.”

Dodd spent more than six weeks in the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital earlier this year, following a chest infection, leaving at the end of February.

Tributes to Dodd poured in following the announcement of his death. He was described as a “legend” and an “inspiration” as celebrities and fans shared fond memories of the popular comedian.

The comic was famous for his epic stand-up shows and his tickling stick, and had a legion of loyal followers whom he continued to entertain even through his later years.

Irish comedian Dara O Briain, known for hosting panel shows such as Mock the Week, remembered seeing him at one of his “incredible 5 hour shows”.

He said: “He was an education to watch and, afterwards, at 1.30 am, he had beers with me in the dressing room and talked showbiz. A privilege, and a loss. RIP.”

Comic Gary Delaney called him “one of the all time greats”, and, referencing the fact Sir Ken’s shows could often last for hours on end, added: “The funeral will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday.”

Television personality Claire Sweeney, a fellow Liverpudlian, shared some photos of the star’s 90th birthday party on Twitter.

Alongside them, she wrote: “RIP Sir Ken Dodd. A legend and an inspiration. I have a lot to thank You for. I Was thrilled you had the best birthday party in Liverpool before you left us. Your city, friends,Family and Show business will miss you terribly.”

Paul Chan, known for playing Mr Wu in comedy series Benidorm, wrote about a chance encounter his mother had had with Sir Ken several decades ago.

He said: “In the late 70’s he came to my mum’s chippy and ordered fish ‘n’ chips. He left and sat in his Rolls Royce, parked outside, eating them. Then he came back in to ask for the bin and drove off. My mum didn’t know who he was. That’s my Ken Dodd story.”

Other tributes came from actor John Challis, who played Boycie in comedy television series Only Fools and Horses, and Hollyoaks actor Annie Wallace, who described him as a “true son of beautiful Liverpool”.

Sir Ken died in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, at the same house in which he was born in 1927.

Julian Richings, who has appeared in films such as X-Men: The Last Stand, described him as a “music hall great, entertainment legend, Liverpool pride”, adding: “The lights are out in Knotty Ash.”

Fans also paid their own tributes, and many of Sir Ken’s infamous jokes were shared on Twitter.

One fan wrote: “Appropriate that this should be announced at about 1:15am as this is the sort of time his shows finished. What a legend, happiness was your greatest gift to us.”

And another said: “Thank you for your amazing sense of humour and the laughs you left us with.” – PA