— Comedy world and Stars pay tribute to ‘one of all-time greats’ to Sir Ken Dodd who died at 90
— The entertainer died on Sunday in the house in which he was born in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash, his publicist said. His wife, Anne Jones, was at his bedside.
The comedians Dawn French and David Walliams were among those to eulogise Dodd.
The comedian Russ Abbot said: “Sadly another legend has passed away. An icon, a one-off and a true professor of comedy. One of the greatest. How tickled I am to have known him.”
Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, said a book of condolence would be opened and flags would fly at half-mast.
Dara Ó Briain, the television presenter and comedian, tweeted: “Ah, Ken Dodd has died. So happy I got to meet him once, and more importantly, saw him do one of his incredible five-hour shows.
“He was an education to watch and, afterwards, at 1.30am, he had beers with me in the dressing room and talked showbiz. A privilege, and a loss. RIP.”
‘Let’s have fun’: the life of Sir Ken Dodd – in pictures
Dodd was known for his lengthy standup shows and his “tickling sticks”. “To my mind, he was one of the last music hall greats. There is no one else that comes close,” said his publicist, Robert Holmes.
“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 a genius.”
Dodd, who was also known for his unruly hair and prominent teeth, performed his last show on 28 December, at the auditorium in the Liverpool Echo Arena.
All his 2018 dates were cancelled when he was treated in hospital for six weeks for a chest infection.
He had promised to carry on when he left hospital on 27 February. “I’m going to teach my legs how to work again – they’ve forgotten, you know – and once I’ve recovered myself I’ll get back to doing the job, which is the only job I’ve ever had,” he said at the time.
“While I was in here, I wrote some new jokes, so it should be all right.”
In the 1960s, Dodd entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest joke-telling session ever: 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours.
His TV shows included the Ken Dodd Show and the Ken Dodd Laughter Show. He had the longest ever run at the London Palladium: 42 weeks, in 1965.
He was also a well-known singer: in 1964 he released his first single, Happiness, followed by the smash hit Tears in 1965. Dodd was knighted in honour of his decades-long career and his charity work in March last year.
His career began when his father bought him a Punch and Judy set for his eighth birthday; he began charging school friends twopence to sit on boxes and watch the puppets. It was a penny to stand at the back and a cigarette card for the hard-up.
In his spare time, the former choirboy sang and developed a standup routine at working men’s clubs. The scripts were written by his father, the costumes prepared by his mother. He described himself as “Professor Yaffle Chuckabutty. Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter.”
See more tributes below:
#RIPKenDodd Best dinner companion I ever sat next to. Don’t think I said a word. Just laughed and laughed and tried not to drown in my soup. Thank you for the genius x
— Sandi Toksvig (@sanditoksvig) March 12, 2018
What a wonderful day for sticking a cucumber through your neighbour’s letter box and shouting ‘the aliens have landed!’ Tatty bye Doddy. And thanks . #doddy
— Dawn French (@Dawn_French) March 12, 2018
Comedy flowed through him like water. RIP Sir Ken Dodd. pic.twitter.com/v0FjVJVe1n
— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) March 12, 2018
Tributes have been paid to Sir Ken Dodd, who has died aged 90 just two days after marrying his long-term partner.