Belfast Telegraph

'A true original' - Grand Opera House tribute to Ken Dodd who graced Belfast stage in mammoth show

The Grand Opera House in Belfast has paid tribute to legendary comedian Sir Ken Dodd, hailing the star "a true original".

The veteran comedian passed away in the Liverpool home he was born in at the age of 90 on Sunday - just two days after getting married.

Many fans and fellow celebrities paid tribute to the funnyman.

Dodd was famous for his epic stand-up shows and his last performance in Belfast in 2004 was no different with audience members treated to a staggering five-hour set.

Following his death, the Grand Opera House said in a statement: “We’re all very sorry to hear of Ken Dodd’s passing. 

"He was a true original – a comedian, actor, singer-songwriter and all-round entertainer who was always generous with his time on stage, and always gave great value for money. 

"When he appeared at the Grand Opera House in 2004 his show finished well after midnight, but missing the last train home was a small price to pay for seeing a true legend perform.  He will be missed by everyone in the entertainment industry.”

On Monday, his widow, Lady Anne Dodd, paid also paid tribute to her late husband outside their home, in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash.

She said she had “lost a most wonderful husband”.

“We first met when I was in the Ken Dodd Christmas Show in 1961 at the Manchester Opera House,” she said.

“I’ve had the supreme joy and privilege of working and living with him as a partner for the past 40 years.”

She said: “The world has lost a most life-enhancing, brilliant, creative comedian with an operatically trained voice, who just wanted to make people happy.

“He lived to perfect his art and entertain his live and adoring audiences.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and affection which I’ve already received from dear friends and the public and I thank you all for being here.”

Sir Ken’s publicist Robert Holmes added: “With Ken gone, the lights have been turned out in the world of variety.

“He was a comedy legend and a genius.”

He said: “To my mind, he was one of the last music hall greats. There is no-one else that comes close.”

Holmes said of Sir Ken’s marriage: “He asked Anne if she wanted to marry. They got the registrar and were married in the house on Friday.

“He died two days later on Mother’s Day. Anne is obviously very upset. They had been together for 40 years.

“It’s a love story to beat them all.”

Meanwhile, Sir Ken's fellow comedians have been sharing their memories of the star on Twitter.

Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams wrote of the funnyman: "Comedy flowed through him like water. RIP Sir Ken Dodd."

And referring to his distinctive appearance, the wild hair and unruly teeth, he added: "A face made for comedy."

Presenters Ant and Dec wrote on Twitter: "So sad to hear of the passing of Ken Dodd. A comedy legend. RIP."

Great British Bake Off  host Sandi Toksvig wrote: "Best dinner companion I ever sat next to. Don't think I said a word. Just laughed and laughed and tried not to drown in my soup. Thank you for the genius x"

Comedian John Bishop, who was born in Liverpool, wrote on Instagram: "True comedy legend. RIP Sir Ken Dodd."

Sir Ken performed his very last show just months ago, in his native city, at the end of December.

The Diocese of Liverpool said it would be announcing details of Sir Ken’s funeral at a later stage.

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