Sir Ken Dodd’s signature tune Happiness has been re-recorded by Ricky Tomlinson, Glenda Jackson and NHS workers as a “tribute” to the health service.
The much-loved star, famous for his epic stand-up shows and his tickling sticks, died aged 90 in 2018.
Before he died he praised the care he received from the “marvellous” NHS, saying “it all makes me cry with gratitude”.
Now his 1964 single has been re-recorded with the chorus rewritten and Royle Family star Tomlinson filmed singing in his bath.
Sir Ken’s widow, Lady Anne Dodd, and Tomlinson wanted to “pay a warm, joy-filled tribute to the nation’s NHS workers for their brave efforts to keep us all safe from Covid-19”.
Liverpool unites in lock-down #HAPPINESS tribute to our NHS If this has made you smile - you can help - https://t.co/02Z19hHHam @rickastley @ShirleyBallas @ellisbarriebros @thechristians @frankcottrell_b @caroldecker @LesDennis @ianhartactor @MTLawrenson @sarker @clairesweeney pic.twitter.com/VOjeqsDw7n— The Comedy Trust 😁 (@TheComedyTrust) April 13, 2020
The song, which also features dozens of nurses and ordinary families, is also intended to “bring a little light-hearted relief to the nation”.
All the singers are from Liverpool or around the area, where Sir Ken was from.
They include Rick Astley, Jimmy Tarbuck, Shirley Ballas, Les Dennis, Claire Sweeney and Carol Decker.
Tomlinson, who is filmed singing in his bath, said: “We saw Madonna in her bath having a go, so we thought it’s time we did an authentic Scouse song to get the nation smiling again and say a huge thank you to all our amazing NHS staff.”
Lady Anne said: “Ken would have loved the idea of cheering up everyone across the nation by singing together his Happiness song.
“We just thought how lovely it would be to share a smile and some joy with everyone of all backgrounds and ages because right now we all need a bit of joy and singing is the way to do it!”
She added: “Happiness is a song that brings people together and makes all of us realise how lucky we are to be alive.
“We all need more laughter and joy in our lives and we hope Happiness can bring a smile to the world.”
Happiness became Sir Ken’s signature tune and he went on to sell millions of records worldwide.
The Happiness video will be released on social media by The Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation in association with The Comedy Trust and Liverpool’s Royal Court and will also be on www.thecomedytrust.com
People are asked to donate to nhscharitiestogether.co.uk