DoctorDoctor Who Guide

Ken Dodd

Last updated 30 December 2016


Ken Dodd
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Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd

Born: Tue 8th November 1927 (age: 89)

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Sir Ken Dodd OBE  is a British comedian and singer-songwriter, famous for his frizzy hair or "fluff dom" and buck teeth or "denchers", his favourite cleaner, the feather duster (or "tickling stick") and his greeting of "How tickled I am!", as well as his send-off "Lots and Lots of Happiness!". He works mainly in the music hall tradition, although, in the past, has occasionally appeared in drama, including as Malvolio in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night on stage in Liverpool in 1971; on television in the cameo role of 'The Tollmaster' in the 1987 Doctor Who story Delta and the Bannermen; and as Yorick (in silent flashback) in Kenneth Branagh's film version of Shakespeare's Hamlet in 1996. In the 1960s his fame was such that he rivalled The Beatles as a household name.

Dodd's stand-up comedy style is fast and relies on the rapid delivery of one-liner jokes. He has claimed that his comic influences include other Liverpool comedians like Arthur Askey, Robb Wilton, Tommy Handley and the "cheeky chappy" from Brighton Max Miller. He intersperses the comedy with occasional songs, both serious and humorous, in an incongruously fine light baritone voice.

Dodd has had many recording hits, charting on nineteen occasions in the UK Top 40, including his first single "Love Is Like a Violin" (1960), produced on Decca Records by Alex Wharton, which charted at number 8 (UK), and his song "Tears" (Columbia), which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965, selling over a million copies. At the time it was the UK's biggest selling single by a solo artist, and remains one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all time. Dodd was selected to perform the song on A Jubilee Of Music on BBC One on December 31, 1976, a celebration of the key pop successes of Queen Elizabeth II's first twenty-five years as UK monarch.

Dodd is renowned for the length of his performances, and during the 1960s he earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest ever joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours (7.14 jokes per minute), undertaken at a Liverpool theatre, where audiences were observed to enter the show in shifts. More recently, Ken Dodd appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in 2006 in front of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, where he reprised some of his famous jokes, including those about tax accountants as well as singing his famous song "Happiness".

He was knighted in the 2017 Honours list.

 

Biography includes details from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA