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Bookmark and Share Ken Dodd 1927-2018

3/12/2018 10:46:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Ken Dodd / Sylvester McCoy (Credit: BBC )The comedian, singer and actor Ken Dodd has died at the age of 90.

Ken Dodd is best known for his sixty-year-long career as a music hall style entertainer but made a few forays into drama, one memorable appearance playing the Tollmaster in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story Delta and the Bannermen.

Kenneth Arthur Dodd was born on 8 November 1927 in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash, the son of a coal merchant. His first job was as a door to door salesman, traipsing around the suburbs of Liverpool selling pots and pans to housewives.

The stage beckoned and after a long stint as an amateur, he turned professional in 1954, appearing in Nottingham as Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty, Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter. Within four years he was topping the bill in the home of variety, Blackpool.

After a decade of touring the northern clubs, he ventured south making his London debut at the London Palladium in 1965, when he topped the bill in an extraordinarily successful 42-week run.

His first successful single came in 1960, Love Is Like A Violin. In all, he had 19 UK Top 40 hits including the song Tears, which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965 and remains one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all time. For the next two decades, he was a regular on Television and Radio as well as continuing with a punishing schedule of stage appearances.

In 1989 came the court case which may have ended his career. He was accused by the Inland Revenue of tax evasion and committed for trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Details of his eccentricity emerged with tales of £336,000 hidden around his house. It emerged that he had 20 bank accounts in Jersey and the Isle of Man, and made regular 'cash and carry' flights to deposit money in them which was not declared to the Inland Revenue.

He was acquitted by the Jury swayed by the arguments of his defense counsel George Carman QC, who remarked: Some accountants are comedians but comedians are never accountants. He was however faced with a reported £2m bill for legal fees and tax he had previously promised to pay.

From that point, the Inland Revenue became a feature of his act as did his reputation for never being able to leave the stage. Some of you are optimists, he'd tell his audience at the start of a show, you've booked your taxis for half-past 12.

He was still touring well into his eighties and in 2016 was awarded a knighthood by the Queen for services to entertainment.

Ken Dodd married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones, two days before he died in the same house in which he was born.