Old school comedic genius, Sir Ken Dodd, passed away at age 90, just days after being married to his sweetheart of 40 years, Anne Jones, on Friday.
The comedy legend and creator of Diddy Men and the “tickling stick” passed away on Sunday, in the same house that he had been born in and lived in for 90 years.
Sir Ken also married his long-time partner Anne, in the same home in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, just two days before his death.
“He’s never lived anywhere else, it’s absolutely amazing,” his publicist Robert Holmes said.
Famous for his lengthy stand-up shows, Sir Ken Dodd had been touring with great energy and fervour up until last year. He was recently released from the hospital where he had been admitted for a chest infection.
His colleagues, friends and fans took to Twitter to pay tribute to the comedian and express their grief. The following tweet by journalist, Marcus Stead, summed up the sentiments of many.
Others also poured in their eulogies and shared their grief with the world.
Sir Ken famously entered the Guinness Book of Records in the 1960’s for the longest joke-telling session ever when he told a record number of 1500 jokes in three-and-a-half hours!
The legendary comedian also became a chart-topping singer in the same decade with hit singles such as Happiness, his signature tune, and Tears, the highest selling song of the 60’s in Britain.
In 1989, Sir Ken Dodd was on trial for tax fraud, but he was later acquitted. During the trial, stories of his eccentric nature became known to the court, including hiding more than £300,000 in cupboards around his house and keeping love letters in a safety-deposit box.
During his trial, he very candidly declared, “Since I am stripped naked in this court, I might as well tell you the lot.”
After his acquittal, Sir Ken continued his career at the London Palladium in 1990.
In 1993, he was voted ‘Top Variety Performer’ and also won a British Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sir Ken Jones and his then-partner Anne, a former Bluebell dancer, were harassed by stalker, Ruth Tagg in October 2001. Tagg sent them threatening letters, a dead rate and even attempted to burn down their house. He later pled guilty to harassment and arson.
In 2017, the marathon comedian was knighted in honour of his career and his charity work, which spanned over decades. The honour was conferred by Prince William at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace.
Using his catch-phrase he said, “I’m delighted and highly tickled.”
His famous buck-toothed smile, unruly hair and infectious jokes will sorely be missed.
RIP Sir Ken Dodd.