by Graham Pierrepoint
One of the UK’s most revered comedy stars – one who remained active on the stage right up until the very last – has passed away at the age of 90. Ken Dodd – a Liverpudlian comedian who had once set himself the challenge to perform at every club in the UK – was a colossal star who endured the decades with his own unique charm and surreal entertainment. While he may not have been well-known across the sea, Dodd was an icon of the British comedy of old, offering creative laughs that hark back to a simpler time.
Dodd was a comedian of extreme endurance and a tireless talent – noted for his wild appearance and ‘tickling stick’ feather dusters – as well as his supporting cast of ‘Diddymen’ – even to the very end, the star was determined to get back on the stage. He performed for the last time in his home town of Liverpool in December 2017 – and he was quoted as being raring to carry on with a new tour once he had recovered from a chest infection. The infection had sadly forced the star to cancel his proposed 2018 tour – one which will sadly now never come to be. How many other stars can say that they kept working, treading the boards or otherwise, up until their 90s? Dodd was a showman, an infectious jokesmith and an inspiringly hard worker. Like his humor or not, his passion and creativity were addictive – and even at his passing at 90, many in the comedy world will be keen to profess that he was taken from us far too soon.
Watch: ▶ Sir Ken Dodd was 'powerhouse on stage' says comedian
Known too for his lengthy shows – Dodd would often spiral out routines and encores that would go on for hours – the star may have been an organisational nightmare for some auditoriums and theaters, but his fans loved him – and you will still be hard pushed to find anyone in the UK aware of his work that doesn’t at least admire what he has done for stage comedy over the years. He even claimed a number of spots on the UK charts as a keen singer, with his hit ‘Tears’ being one of the biggest-selling singles on 1965.
Ken Dodd will be missed for his madcap routines, his record-breaking joke marathons and his never-ending love for comedy. With tributes pouring out of every corner of UK comedy, he will be sorely missed by millions.