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article imageThe Ken Dodd 60th Anniversary Tour

By Alexander Baron     Feb 4, 2014 in Entertainment
Zany comedian Ken Dodd was born in 1927. Next month he plays the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon. And a few other places up and down the country.
In the 1960s, Ken Dodd set the world record for the longest ever stand up joke telling session: fifteen hundred in a marathon three and a half hours. That may have been exceptional but for the most famous denizen of Knotty Ash, it wasn't that exceptional.
Less than a year ago, he spent five hours on stage in Stockport. For a man of his, er, advanced years, that is staggering. It's also value for money! His current shows can be found here. As you can see, he is booked up till June.
Although he is a family entertainer, he does steer close to the line at times. Here is a younger vintage Dodd performing in the North of England. He may be the king of the one liners, but he came from a musical family. According to his biographer Stephen Griffin, Ken's father played saxophone and clarinet professionally, while his grandmother, who became the first woman magistrate in Liverpool, played the piano, as did his mother.
The young Ken learned piano, accordian and cornet, but never played professionally. In the 60s though he recorded a number of songs, and had a massive hit with Tears, outselling even The Beatles. His theme song, Happiness, was recorded the previous year.
2014 will be his 60th year in showbusiness, and his current tour is so named.
A little known fact about Ken Dodd is that during the 1979 General Election campaign, he introduced Margaret Thatcher at the Wembley Arena. They're still laughing at that one.
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