Music hall great brought laughter to many people

WINTER GARDENS: Comedian Ken Dodd with the Friends of the Winter Gardens in 1986. Among those pictured are current Friends, Evelyn Archer (chair), Joan Kitching and June Stancliffe.
WINTER GARDENS: Comedian Ken Dodd with the Friends of the Winter Gardens in 1986. Among those pictured are current Friends, Evelyn Archer (chair), Joan Kitching and June Stancliffe.
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Comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd, who died this week aged 90, was a popular visitor to north Lancashire throughout his long showbusiness career.

The much-loved star, famous for his epic stand-up shows, his tickling sticks and Diddy Men, died on Sunday at home in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash.

Sir Ken, who always had a soft spot for Morecambe, last performed in the town in 2009.

After many years absence, he appeared at The Platform in his Ken Dodd Happiness Show, which brought to a close the two day Morecambe Sandcastle Festival.

In an interview in 1987, Sir Ken, who was patron of the campaign to open Morecambe’s Winter Gardens, reiterated his wish to see the theatre restored, saying: “I still have a great deal of interest in the people helping the Winter Gardens.”

Sir Ken also performed at Morecambe’s Dome which played host to many big name during its 30 years.

In his biography Sir Ken told how Eric Morecambe, the town’s much loved comedian who also has a statue on the promenade commemorating his life, said: “I’ll tell you something, we’ll never follow Ken Dodd.”

Sir Ken Dodd was knighted in 2016, calling it ‘the best day of my life.’