Some terrible news this morning, as it has been announced that much loved Liverpool comedian Ken Dodd, has passed away at the age of 90.
The comedian has had troubles with his health lately, and spent a period of time in the Liverpool Heart an Chest Hospital, as he battled quite a serious chest infection.
His publicist shared the news this morning.
“He passed away in the home he was born in over 90 years ago. He’s never lived anywhere else. It’s absolutely amazing.
Weeks ago there was fake news being reported that claimed Dodd had died, which was being shared on social media. Ken was understandably upset about the claims, and told the Liverpool Echo:
“They are horrible monsters. I don’t think they’re human beings. I think they’re evil, but I think they will get theirs.
I can tell you now, there is a God and he will punish them.”
The stand up comic became a household name in the 1960’s, praised the medical team who cared for him whilst he was hospitalised.
“The first and most important thing I want to say is ‘Thank you’. I want to thank everyone for being so wonderfully kind and caring.
The NHS is marvellous. The nurses here are absolutely wonderful and the doctors are excellent. Everyone has been very, very kind to me.
But I also want to say there are lots of other people apart from me being cared for in this way. The medical attention is superb and the staff do their very best for everybody – it all makes me cry with gratitude.”
Ken was knighted last year by Prince William, following his tremendous services to entertainment, and his charitable work.
He has previously been awarded with an OBE (Officer of the Order of the Brittish Empire), back in 1982.
The humble comedian was born in Knotty Ash in Liverpool, and only got his first major break at the age of twenty six. He made his professional debut performing at the infamous Nottingham Empire Theatre way back in 1954. 64 years ago!
He managed to claim a regular spot at the theatre, which has since been demolished, and also began to tour the country. This lead to him landing a position as becoming top of the bill in Blackpool back in 1958.
He was dubbed ‘the last great music hall entertainer’, and was known for his one line wonders. He claimed influence from other comedians coming out of Liverpool such as Arthur Askey, Robb Wilton, Tommy Handley and Max Millar.
He was notorious for his longer than usual performances, and was even awarded a Guinness World Record in the 1960’s for putting on the worlds longest ever joke telling sesh. He told a staggering 1,500 jokes in a three and a half hour slot in his native Liverpool.
The mathematics amongst us would make you aware that’s 7.14 jokes per minute, no surprise the audience had to spectate it in shifts!
Despite his age, Ken was forever passionate about touring, and even toured last year, the year which saw him turn 90.
It was only Friday Ken had married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones. The ceremony took place at their house, the one he’s never left, in Knotty Ash Liverpool.
She described her other half as “”a most life-enhancing, brilliant, creative comedian”.
“I have lost a most wonderful husband. He lived to perfect his art and entertain his live and adoring audiences.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and affection which I’ve already received from dear friends and the public.”
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said a book of condolence would be opened at the Town Hall, and commented that “We are comforted by the joy and happiness he brought the world.”
Rest in peace, Sir Ken.