Dodd's Nott welcome

Theatre bans veteran comic

Ken Dodd has been banned from a Nottingham theatre – after bosses slated his show as being poor quality.

The city’s Royal Concert Hall has regularly hosted the 82-year-old comic, but when he came too book dates this Christmas, they turned him down flat.

Dodd, who started his career at Nottingham's Empire Theatre 55 years ago, on the site now occupied by the Royal Concert Hall, said the decision was ‘a big disappointment’.

Theatre boss Robert Sanderson said the large number of people walked out of last year’s show – which features Dodd alongside a number of old-fashioned variety acts – prompted him to make his decision.

‘A significant number of audience members left before the end, raising concerns as to the quality of some of the performances,’ he told the city’s Evening Post.

However the sheer length of Dodd’s show – which frequently runs for more than five hours – could also explain the walkouts.

Dodd’s spokesman, Robert Holmes, said: ‘People don't walk out on a Ken Dodd show because they're not being entertained. A few of the older fans may have booked a taxi or arranged to have someone pick them at midnight, then found that he wasn't quite done yet, so had to sneak out.’

He added: ‘It's a shame for Nottingham. He's always done brilliant business in Nottingham. And because it's where his career started he has a big place in his heart for the city.’

Sanderson said it was a ‘difficult decision’ not to run the popular show this year – and did not rule out Dodd returning in the future. ‘He is by no means banned from appearing,’ he said.

Click here for the interview in which Dodd revealed he had been turned away from the theatre.

Published: 10 May 2009

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