Comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd passes away

The British comedian, singer and actor passed away on Sunday, aged 90

Sir Ken Dodd passed away on Sunday
Sir Ken Dodd passed away on Sunday

Comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd, creator of the Diddy Men, has died aged 90.

The British comedian had 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 their house, the same one he grew up in, in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash.

Dodd died on Sunday in the house in which he was born in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash, his publicist said. His wife was by his bedside.

"To my mind, he was one of the last music hall greats," his publicist, Robert Holmes, said.

Sir Ken received a knighthood at Buckingham Palace in 2017
Sir Ken received a knighthood at Buckingham Palace in 2017

Sir Ken was famous for his very long stand-up shows - with which he was touring until last year - along with his Diddy Men and the tickling stick.

"He passed away in the home that he was born in over 90 years ago. He's never lived anywhere else. It's absolutely amazing," added Holmes.

In the 1960s, he made it into the Guinness Book of Records for telling 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours.

After making his name in the music halls, his career in television and radio took off, as he brought national appeal to his regional, perhaps parochial humour.

Sir Ken was also a top-charting singer, his signature tune Happiness was released in 1964 and his singe Tears was the third highest-selling song of the 1960s in Britain, beaten only by two Beatles songs.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, he was a regular face on TV and worked to a punishing schedule, which he kept throughout his career.

In 1989, Sir Ken faced a 23-day trial, charged with eight counts of tax fraud spanning 15 years and involving more than £800,000.

Sir Ken had received a knighthood at Buckingham Palace in 2017.

Tributes have begun to pour in for Sir Ken.

Irish comic Dara O'Briain describing how he was "so happy" to meet him.

The actress Claire Sweeney also tweeted about the comedian.

 “Ah, Ken Dodd has died. So happy I got to meet him once, and more importantly, saw him do one of his incredible five-hour shows,” Dodd’s fellow comedian Dara Ó Briain wrote on Twitter.

“He was an education to watch and, afterwards, at 1.30am, he had beers with me in the dressing room and talked showbiz. A privilege, and a loss. RIP.”

The actor John Challis, who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, tweeted: “So sorry to hear we have lost Ken Dodd. I met him once and I’ve never forgotten it. Gawd bless ‘im.”