Tickled pink

Dodd honoured by new portrait

Ken Dodd has unveiled his first portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, and declared himself flattered by the honour.

The 74-year-old comic looks exhausted in the backstage portrait, which   English painter David Cobley called ‘an affectionate tribute’.

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Dodd said of his image: "He looks quite melancholy, quite sad. I think the posh word would be enigmatic. It's unusual I'm not laughing.

"It definitely says something, it's not just a facsimile. I'd just finished one of my shows and I'm shattered. I've given it my all and I'm wondering could I have done it better. It's a puzzle.

“[Cobley] came to see me in several different parts of the country because I'm a bit of a gigster and sent me lots of his preparatory work. I don't know why he asked me. I guess he just wanted to know what I thought.

“The finished image is just how I want to be remembered. I want people to remember me as a working comedian."

Cobley described his painting as "an affectionate tribute".

A spokesman for the London gallery, just off Trafalgar Squre, said: ‘The portrait reveals the vulnerability of the wary-looking comic. The complex relationship between on and off stage persona is also suggested by the pink tickling stick at the bottom right corner of the painting and the flash of hot pink shirt visible in the mirror though not actually seen in the dressing room".

Cobley’s previous subjects have included Princess Anne, Steven Berkoff and Richard Briers.


Published: 19 Aug 2005

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