44 Facts About Ken Dodd


Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd was an English comedian, singer, and occasional actor.


Ken Dodd was described as "the last great music hall entertainer", and was primarily known for his live stand-up performances.


Ken Dodd's performances included rapid and incessant delivery of often surreal jokes, and would run for several hours, frequently past midnight.


Ken Dodd had several hit singles primarily as a ballad singer in the 1960s, and occasionally appeared in dramatic roles.


Ken Dodd performed on radio and television, and popularised the characters of the Diddy Men.


Ken Dodd was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to entertainment and charity.


Kenneth Arthur Dodd was born on 8 November 1927 in a former farmhouse in Knotty Ash, a suburb of Liverpool, to Arthur Dodd and Sarah.


Ken Dodd went to the Knotty Ash School, and sang in the local church choir of St John's Church, Knotty Ash.


Not long after, his father bought him a ventriloquist's dummy and Ken Dodd called it Charlie Brown.


Ken Dodd started entertaining at the local orphanage, then at various other local community functions.


Ken Dodd said he gained his big break at age 26 when, in September 1954, he made his professional show-business debut as Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty, Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter at the Nottingham Empire.


Ken Dodd later said, "Well at least they didn't boo me off".


Ken Dodd continued to tour variety theatres up and down the UK, and in 1955 he appeared at Blackpool, where, in the following year, he had a part in Let's Have Fun.


Ken Dodd was described as "the last great music hall entertainer".


Ken Dodd said that his comic influences included other Liverpool comedians like Arthur Askey, Robb Wilton, Tommy Handley and the "cheeky chappy" from Brighton, Max Miller.


Ken Dodd interspersed the comedy with occasional songs, both serious and humorous, in an incongruously fine light baritone voice, and with his original speciality, ventriloquism.


Ken Dodd worked mainly as a solo comedian, including in a number of eponymous television and radio shows and made several appearances on BBC TV's music hall revival show, The Good Old Days.


Ken Dodd toured frequently throughout his professional career, performing lengthy shows into his eighties, that often did not finish until after midnight.


Ken Dodd said the secret of his success was simply, "I love what I do".


Ken Dodd had many hit records, charting on 18 occasions in the UK Top 40, including his first single "Love Is Like a Violin", produced on Decca Records by Alex Wharton, which charted at number 8.


Ken Dodd's recording of "Tears" on the Columbia label topped the UK singles chart for five weeks in 1965, becoming the biggest hit single in Britain that year and selling over a million copies in the UK alone.


Ken Dodd was selected to perform the song on A Jubilee of Music on BBC One on 31 December 1976, a celebration of the key pop successes of the Queen's first 25 years as Britain's monarch.


Ken Dodd had two further UK top ten records: "The River ", written by Renato Angiolini with lyrics by Mort Shuman ; and "Promises", written by Norman Newell and Tom Springfield.


In 2021, Ken Dodd's recording of "Love is Like a Violin" was featured in the Walt Disney film Cruella.


Ken Dodd said: "I am not mean, but I am nervous of money, nervous of having it, nervous of not having it" and described money as "important only because I have nothing else".


Ken Dodd was represented by George Carman QC, who in court quipped, "Some accountants are comedians, but comedians are never accountants".


Ken Dodd was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1982 New Year Honours for services to show business and charity and was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to entertainment and charity.


In 1993 Ken Dodd won Top Variety Entertainer and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at ITV's British Comedy Awards.


Ken Dodd was made a Freeman of the City of Liverpool in 2001.


Ken Dodd was made an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University in 1997.


Ken Dodd was inducted into the exclusive show business fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats.


Ken Dodd was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Chester at a graduation ceremony in 2009 in Chester Cathedral.


Ken Dodd was awarded a Doctorate of Letters at Liverpool Hope University in 2010 during the university's Foundation Day celebrations.


In 2016, Ken Dodd was awarded the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award, a recognition of his lifetime's contribution to the world of comedy.


Ken Dodd received the award as part of the Slapstick Festival in Bristol.


Shortly after her death, Ken Dodd began a relationship with Anne Jones, which lasted from 1978 until his death.


Ken Dodd married Jones on 9 March 2018, two days before his death.


Ken Dodd was a supporter of the Conservative Party, and campaigned for Margaret Thatcher in the 1979 General Election.


Ken Dodd said that one of his biggest regrets in life was that he never had children.


Ken Dodd died aged 90 on 11 March 2018 at his home in Knotty Ash, the same home in which he was born and raised, soon after being hospitalised for six weeks with a chest infection.


Ken Dodd had been touring with his stand-up stage show up until the end of 2017.


In September 2022, Lady Ken Dodd endowed stained glass windows at St Anne's Church, Old Swan, in memory of her husband.


Ken Dodd had numerous television shows and specials over 60 years, including:.


Ken Dodd appeared in many other programmes, as an actor, performer, or as himself.