Ken Dodd's tickled by festival honour | Slapstick dubs him a 'comedy legend' © Paul Lippiatt

Ken Dodd's tickled by festival honour

Slapstick dubs him a 'comedy legend'

Ken Dodd has been awarded the Comedy Legend award by the Slapstick festival in Bristol 

He becomes only the third person to take the accolade, following June Whitfield, Barry Humphries and Barry Cryer.

The prize itself is a customised, one-off version of Morph, made by the modellers at Bristol-based animation house Aardman, which co-sponsors the award.

<img src="" alt="Dodd award" style="float:right">On receiving it on stage last night, Dodd said: ‘That’s lovely. A little diddy Doddy! 

‘Thank you for this wonderful trophy. It shall have pride of place, I shall put it by my bedside, I shall wake up every morning and see it and think of a wonderful evening full of happiness. 

‘I can hear you all sitting there muttering to yourselves, "How old do you reckon he is? The Queen liked him. And Prince Albert. I think he’s let himself go. I wish to hell he’d let us go."

‘Thank you all very much, I wish you all the most precious thing in the world, I wish you happiness ladies and gentlemen. Goodnight.’

<img src="" alt="Dodd at the Slapstick festival">

Addressing Dodd, Peter Lord from Aardman added: ‘We like to celebrate and thank great comic acts right from the silent era right up to the modern day and you fit the bill absolutely perfectly.  We’re so honoured to be able to call you a comedy legend and we have here the original Diddy man, Morph…’

Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender also told an anecdote of how the lights went off at about 11pm during one of Dodd’s legendarily long-running gigs. 

Doddy stood for five minutes waiting for illumination to return, then went off stage, got a torch and came back to carry on, holding the torch to his face. Apparently, the techies had cut the power on purpose as they wanted to go home, but after 20 minutes they gave up, put the lights back on and he went on for another two hours.

Lavender ended his speech saying: ‘The lights will never be put out on Ken as a performer and for this we thank you, Ken.’

Festival director Chris Daniels added: ‘There’s only one way to describe our reaction to having the legendary Ken Dodd as a guest at Slapstick – tickled! Sixty-plus year in the business, still touring at 88 and most important of all, still a master at making people laugh and feel happy.’

<img src="" alt="Dodd custard pie">

Also at the event in St George’s Brandon Hill, Dodd shoved a custard pie into the face audience member Lu Cyrcus of Balham, South London – a reward after her husband made a pledge towards the festival’s £5,000 Kickstarter campaign.

The custard pies were made by festival development manager Jacqui Ham, based on her research into the precise constitution of custards favoured by early silent clowns. 

Published: 26 Jan 2016

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