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Veteran Blackpool favourite Ken Dodd to be honoured with BBC show

Ken Dodd
Ken Dodd

The life and career of veteran Blackpool-favourite Sir Ken Dodd will be celebrated in a BBC documentary.

Titled Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were, the programme will explore the work of a performer described as “one of the last music hall greats” when he died aged 90 in March.

Featuring interviews with Sir Ken’s family and figures from the world of entertainment, the “poignant and uplifting programme” is set to be broadcast later this year.

Sir Ken’s wife, Lady Anne, who he wed two days before he died, said: “When Ken passed away in the spring, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection and love for him not only here in Liverpool but all over the nation.

“I’m delighted therefore that the BBC has chosen to honour Ken’s memory with this special documentary about his life’s work and his unique relationship with the British public. I’m looking forward to working with the producers on what I anticipate will be a very special film.”

Sir Ken, famous for his epic stand-up shows, his tickling sticks and Diddy Men, died in March in the home he was born in, in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash.

The much-loved star’s performing career spanned seven decades, from his first professional stage engagement in September 1954 to his final performance in his home city of Liverpool in December 2017.

He was known for his marathon performances and in the 1960s he entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest joke-telling session ever - 1,500 jokes in three-and-a-half hours.

The veteran comic was knighted in honour of his decades-long showbiz career and charity work in March last year.

It will be broadcast on BBC Two later this year.

DODDY’S BLACKPOOL LOVE AFFAIR

Doddy is thought to have made around 2,000 appearances in the resort during summer season shows which have spanned more than half a century.

Ken Dodd first trod the boards at the old Queen’s Theatre in October, 1954, and appeared at the Grand Theatre in November 2017 as part of the Sunday concerts. A Blackpool theatrical career spanning 63 years.

After his appearance in 1954 as a supporting act at the Queen’s (where the TK Maxx store now stands), Doddy was in the 1955 summer season at the Central Pier.

Doddy made such an impression that producer Peter Webster booked him to return for the 1956 season, when the star act was Jimmy James and Company.

Ken’s other 1950s Blackpool seasons were in 1957 at the old Hippodrome - as joint top with Stan Stennet and Jill Day - and back at the Central Pier as bill-topper with singer Josef Locke as guest star in 1958.

The comedian starred in six summer season shows at the Opera House (1962, 64, 66, 68, 71 and 81, and in several Sunday concerts each year from 1970 to 2017 at the Opera House and the Grand.