Legendary Liverpool entertainer Sir Ken Dodd who sadly passed away aged 90 performed in Chester on several occasions.
The nation is in mourning after Doddy died in the Knotty Ash home where he was born having recently been released from hospital after six weeks of treatment for a chest infection.
On Friday, he had married Anne Jones, his partner of 40 years, at the house in the Liverpool suburb where he spent all his life.
Doddy, who came from a music hall tradition, was a singer-songwriter, actor and all-round entertainer known for his marathon stage performances. He had 19 songs in the UK top 40 and sold 100 million records worldwide. He had acting roles ranging from Shakespeare to Doctor Who .
When aged 81, Doddy backed The Chronicle campaign to reopen the Gateway Theatre, which closed in 2007 and where he performed several times. The campaign was launched was after it transpired the Gateway’s replacement was on hold for years because of the economic crash. Storyhouse finally opened in May, 2017.
The comedian recalled that he had performed at the Gateway ‘two or three times’ and if it was resurrected he would have loved to enthral Chester audiences again.
“I’m delighted to support the initiative to reopen the Gateway and I for one would love to play there again. A theatre is the hub of a city’s cultural life,” said Doddy, who claimed his ‘ancestors’ came from Chester and he enjoyed going to the races here both as a child with his father and later as an adult.
True to form, the performer – long associated along with his Diddy Men and tickling stick – said he had no intention of retiring even though he was an octogenarian at that stage.
“I’m completely stage-struck,” said Doddy, who also performed at Chester’s former Royalty Theatre. “I have always loved showbusiness and shall keep doing what I do.”
In 2009 Sir Ken Dodd OBE received a Doctor of Letters from the University of Chester at Chester Cathedral in recognition of his outstanding contribution as an entertainer and to charitable works in the region.
In the 1960s, Dodd entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest joke-telling session ever – 1,500 jokes in three-and-a-half hours. His TV shows included the Ken Dodd Show, Beyond Our Ken and Ken Dodd’s Laughter Show. He also had the longest-ever run at the London Palladium, 42 weeks.
Appointed OBE in 1982, Doddy was also known for the enormous amount of time and energy he devoted to charity work. The Ken Dodd Charitable Trust supports numerous charities and he worked tirelessly to raise funds for Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology.