Sunday, 22 December 2013

Feeling a bit Doddery

A few weeks ago I purchased a couple of tickets to spend an evening being entertained by veteran comedian Ken Dodd. Ken is famous for the music hall tradition and hiding money from the tax man under the bed. As well as his cameo role of 'The Tollmaster' in Doctor Who. We had an interesting night out in Bradford last night with eighty seven years young Kenneth Arthur Dodd OBE. Or as he says, the OBE stands for 'Other Buggers Efforts'.

Kenneth Arthur Dodd, was born at an early age in 1927. Famous for his scraggy hair or "fluff dom" and buck teeth or "denchers". He is a comedian, singer-songwriter and actor. With his catch phrase of "How tickled I am!", as well as his send-off "Lots and lots of happiness!". His show usually starting with "Good evening, my name is Kenneth Arthur Dodd singer, photographic playboy and failed accountant!" Ken is renowned for the length of his performances, and in the 1960s he earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest ever joke-telling session. 1,500 jokes were served up in three and a half hours (7.14 jokes per minute), where he said the audience had to enter the show in shifts.

In 1989 Dodd was charged with tax evasion. Ken was revealed to have very little money in his bank account, having £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. When asked by the judge, "What does a hundred thousand pounds in a suitcase feel like?", Ken made his now famous reply, "The notes are very light, M'Lord." Dodd was represented by George Carman QC who in court famously quipped, "Some accountants are comedians, but comedians are never accountants". The trial lasted three weeks and Ken Dodd was acquitted.

The first part of the show was two and a half hours of smiles, sniggers and full on belly laughs. After the break until some late hour Ken was just getting his second breath. There was a lot of predictable things in the show. However, what was very obvious Ken was the last bastion of the old time variety acts. He always has and always should be recognised as a real national treasure.

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