Tuesday 12 November 2019

Tributes pour in for comedy ‘genius’ Sir Ken Dodd

Sir Paul McCartney, Dawn French, David Walliams and Ant and Dec were among those mourning the star.

Comedian Ken Dodd, in Ulverston, Cumbria (John Giles/PA)
Comedian Ken Dodd, in Ulverston, Cumbria (John Giles/PA)

By Sherna Noah and Ellie Cullen, Press Association

Stars across the world of entertainment have bid “farewell” to comedy giant Sir Ken Dodd following his death aged 90.

Sir Paul McCartney, Dawn French, David Walliams and Ant and Dec were among those mourning the legendary funnyman after his death was announced.

Sir Paul wrote on Instagram: “Farewell to my fellow Liverpudlian the tattyfilarious Ken Dodd.

“Beloved by many people in Britain and a great champion of his home city and comedy.

“We met him on a few occasions as The Beatles and always ended up in tears of laughter. Today it’s tears of sadness as well. See you Doddy.”

Ant and Dec wrote on Twitter: “So sad to hear of the passing of Ken Dodd. A comedy legend. RIP.”

Sandi Toksvig wrote: “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”

Walliams wrote of the Liverpool funnyman: “Comedy flowed through him like water. RIP Sir Ken Dodd.”

And referring to his distinctive appearance, the wild hair and unruly teeth, he added: “A face made for comedy.”

John Bishop, who was born in Liverpool, wrote on Instagram: “True comedy legend. RIP Sir Ken Dodd.”

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True comedy legend. RIP Sir Ken Dodd.

A post shared by John Bishop (@johnbish100) on

Russ Abbot said in a statement to the Press Association that “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,” he said.

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

French paid tribute to Sir Ken with one of his famous jokes, writing on Twitter: “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”.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson wrote that there would be a book of condolence, saying: “Liverpool today mourns one of its most famous sons the greatest ever comedian, Sir Ken Dodd. We are comforted by the joy and happiness he brought the world.”

The Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes said he was “deeply saddened”.

“His gentleness and his sustained commitment to the joy and delight of others will even outlive his jokes.

“His dedication to our city and in particular to the Knotty Ash community was never diluted by his enormous success.

“Sir Ken was a man with a quiet, deep faith, who was often seen at our Cathedral, where he loved quiet and peaceful worship.

“He brought joy and delight to millions, and although so many of us are in grief and sorrow here, I’m sure that there will now be a fresh gale of laughter in heaven,” he said.

“A book of condolence will open later today and flags will fly half mast. Condolences to Lady Anne.”

Comedian and TV star Brian Conley wrote: “Thanks for all the chats and guidance, you always had time for everyone…Dear Doddy tatty bye.”

TV personality Claire Sweeney, a fellow Liverpudlian, shared photos of the star’s 90th birthday party on Twitter and wrote: “I was thrilled you had the best birthday party in Liverpool before you left us.”

Comic Shappi Khorsandi wrote: “Was only talking about him last night with someone who was the spot-light operator on one of his shows 30 years ago. She said her arms still ached.”

Paul Chuckle, one half of the Chuckle brothers, wrote: “Ken Dodd such a lovely guy. RIP my friend you were one of a kind.”

Gyles Brandreth wrote: “He had a genius for laughter. And spread happiness wherever he went. The human tickling stick is gone and it’s a sadder world. RIP Ken Dodd.”

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”.

Liverpool comic Les Dennis wrote: “Losing Ken means losing the last music hall great. He was a true star who lit up a theatre. Thoughts with his wife.Anne. Tatty Bye Doddy.”

Actor and director Samuel West wrote: “Remembering Ken Dodd performing at the Crucible Theatre.

“We had to order taxis home for all the staff. His set finished after midnight (and nobody wanted a second less). May we all fill 90 years so well.”

Irish comedian Dara O Briain remembered seeing Sir Ken at one of his “incredible five hour shows”.

He said: “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.”

Tony Blackburn wrote: “So sorry to hear that Sir Ken Dodd has died..I went to see his shows and met him several times and found him to be a very lovely man.

“Thanks for all the laughs Ken, you made me, and a lot of people laugh for many years. R.I.P.”

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.”

Another said: “Thank you for your amazing sense of humour and the laughs you left us with.”

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