THE world has lost its ‘most life-enhancing and brilliant’ comedian with the death of Sir Ken Dodd at 90.
This tribute from his widow, Lady Anne Dodd, came as dozens of entertainers also recalled the Liverpudlian funnyman yesterday.
His death on Sunday at his home in Knotty Ash, where he was born and had always lived, came just two days after the couple married.
Speaking outside their house, where floral tributes and his signature ‘tickle stick’ feather dusters have been left, Lady Dodd said: ‘We first met when I was in the Ken Dodd Christmas Show in 1961 at the Manchester Opera House. I’ve had the supreme joy and privilege of working and living with him as a partner for the past 40 years.
‘The world has lost a most life-enhancing, brilliant, creative comedian with an operatically trained voice, who just wanted to make people happy.’
Sir Ken left hospital on February 27 at the end of a six-week stay for a chest infection. His final show was at the end of December in Liverpool.
He was famous for his epic live shows that could last up to five hours, a string of hit singles, his tickling sticks and Diddy Men.
In the 1960s, he entered the Guinness Book Of Records for the longest ever session of joke-telling — 1,500 in three-and-a-half hours. He would later go on to joke about being cleared of tax fraud in 1989 after a five-week trial that transformed Liverpool crown court into ‘a sell-out theatre’, with fellow comics Eric Sykes and Roy Hudd being called as character witnesses.
Sir Paul McCartney was among those paying tribute yesterday, tweeting a picture of Sir Ken with The Beatles in the 1960s. He said: ‘We met him on a few occasions and always ended up in tears of laughter. Today it’s tears of sadness as well. See you Doddy.’
And radio presenter Danny Wallace joked: ‘Godspeed Doddy. 90 years old. He was supposed to go when he was 80 but they couldn’t get him off stage.’