Ken Dodd

Ken Dodd

Date of birth: 08-11-1927

Dodd started his career as a ventriloquist - and indeed still uses the Dicky Mint dummy in his act.

However, his success came through his exaggerated on-stage persona - the manic hairstyle, protruding teeth and, of course, trademark tickling stick - combined with a relentless stream of one-liners, peppered with nonsense words like 'tattifilarious', that can - and do - entertain audiences for hours.

He built his reputation as a live performer on the variety stage, and famously logs audience reactions to jokes every night, building up a picture of what plays well where.

His career was boosted with appearances on TV, often just guest roles, but his bizarre appearance would always stick in the mind. He also has a penchant for sickly ballads, as well as his signature tune Happiness, recording several albums of love songs and notching up 19 top 40 hits, including the 1965 chart-topper Tears.

Dodd became embroiled in a tax-dodging case in the Eighties, and was eventually cleared, but the case revealed much about Dodd's eccentric private life, too.

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© David A Ellis / Creative Commons 3.0

Arise, Sir Ken

Doddy gets his kinghthood

Ken Dodd was knighted by Prince William yesterday and said – of course - that he was ‘highly tickled’ by the honour.

He said: ‘One of the happiest things is the joy and pleasure it brings to your family and friends and then you say to yourself it is a great honour and I just hope I'll be worthy of it.’

At 89, the comic is still touring with his Happiness tour – legendary for running for four or more hours each night.

And at Buckingham Palace yesterday he vowed: ‘I won't hang my tickling stick up, till I have to.

‘I’ve got the best job in the world because I only see happy people. Isn’t that lovely?

After collecting the award he said: ‘We’ll have a glass or two of tickle tonic, then we shall go back to Knotty Ash. I’ll see the Diddy Men there.

Here’s the moment he officially became Sir Ken:

And here he is being interviewed at the Palace:

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Published: 3 Mar 2017

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