Legendary British singer and comedian Sir Ken Dodd has died aged 90.
The Liverpudlian funnyman passed away on Sunday (March 11), just days after marrying long-term partner Anne Jones at their house, the same one in which he grew up, on Friday (March 9).
“They got the registrar and were married in the house,” his publicist Robert Holmes told the Press Association. “He died two days later on Mother’s Day. Anne is obviously very upset. To my mind, he was one of the last music hall greats.
“With Ken gone, the lights have been turned out in the world of variety. He was a comedy legend and genius.”
The sad news of Dodd’s death comes after he spent six weeks in hospital earlier this year, being treated for a chest infection.
Born the son of a coal merchant in 1927, Dodd began his career as a comedian in 1954. He was most famous for his stand-up shows with his Diddy Men and the tickling stick, and made it into the Guinness World Records in the 1960s after telling 1,500 jokes in three-and-a-half hours. He also had a successful career on television and radio with shows such as The Ken Dodd Show, Beyond Our Ken and Ken Dodd’s Laughter Show, and even topped the charts as a singer (“Tears”), releasing his signature tune, “Happiness”, in 1964.
Dodd was knighted in 2017 in recognition of his lengthy career and years of charity work.
Shortly after Dodd’s death was confirmed, tributes began pouring in for the comedian.
Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis was one of the first to pay his respects, tweeting: “So sorry to hear we have lost Ken Dodd. I met him once and I’ve never forgotten it. Gawd bless ‘im.”
And comedian Dara O’Briain wrote: “Ah, Ken Dodd has died. So happy I got to meet him once, and more importantly, saw him do one of his incredible 5 hour shows. He was an education to watch and, afterwards, at 1.30 am, he had beers with me in the dressing room and talked showbiz. A privilege, and a loss. RIP.”
The hits of Ken Dodd:
Love is Like a Violin (1960 / #8 U.K.)
Tears (1965 / #1 U.K.)
The River (Le Colline Sono In Flore) (1965 / #3)
Promises (1966 / #6 U.K.)
More Than Love (1966 / #14 U.K.)
Let Me Cry On Your Shoulder (1967 / #11 U.K.)
Brokenhearted (1970 / #15 U.K.)
When Love Comes Round Again (L’arca di Noe) (1971 / #19)