Ken Dodd has demanded a public apology for the ‘distress and anger’ he suffered after a theatre refused to book him for not being funny enough.
Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall said the 82-year-old comic would not be welcome to perform his regular Christmas show there because of ‘concerns about the quality’ of the performance.
Dodd - who started his career in the city 55 years ago - says he will never perform in Nottingham again until he gets a public apology from theatre boss Robert Sanderson.
He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I am distressed and angry that anybody should imply that I have lost it. I will not play Nottingham again until I get a public apology from this man for the pain and distress he caused me any my supporters.’
Sanderson said that ‘a significant number of audience members left before the end’ of last year’s show – although the sheer length of the evening – which frequently runs for more than five hours – could also explain the walkouts.
Dodd accused Sanderson of not understanding the ‘protocol of showbiz’, adding: ‘After 55 years one of the things that matters most to me is the respect I have earned in this business. It is more precious than anything, that respect, because we comedians are servants of our public, and the public has stayed loyal to me.’