Tributes paid to ‘legend’ Sir Ken
A STATES Member has paid tribute to much-loved and ‘extraordinary’ comedian Sir Ken Dodd, who died at the weekend, aged 90.
Deputy Murray Norton met the entertainer on a number of occasions while working at holiday resorts in north-east England during the 1970s and 80s and described him as a ‘legend’.
The stand-up comic also appeared on stage in Jersey on a number of occasions, at venues including Fort Regent.
Deputy Norton said: ‘I did not know him that well but in showbiz you do get to work with lots of different people and I met him when I was MCing shows, probably on about four or five different occasions.
‘It was not in Jersey but when I was working in holiday parks in the north-east of England. He was the midnight act they used to bring on about once every fortnight.’
He added: ‘One thing I always remember is that he was only meant to perform for about one hour but would often go on for two or three instead.
‘He had a gag where he would look back at the wings of the theatre where I was standing and say “I am not coming off!” and sometimes he really meant it. He was extraordinary.’
Deputy Norton also spoke of Sir Ken’s unique brand of humour and said that he was among the last of the classic comedians from his era.
He added: ‘He was a really cheeky chappy and had lots of one-liners and “ooh err, missus” jokes. He was a very colourful character.
‘He did shows at Behan’s at West Park [Inn On The Park] and Fort Regent and was in that last era of great comics which used to perform in Jersey in its heyday, along with Tommy Cooper, Bruce Forsyth and Bob Monkhouse.’
However, doubt was cast over the reason for Sir Ken’s visits to the Island in 1989 when he was taken to court by UK authorities on tax-evasion charges.
According to an article published at the time in The Herald, a court was told of how the comedian would make ‘cash and carry’ flights to the Isle of Man and Jersey to deposit around £700,000 of money into 20 offshore accounts without telling Inland Revenue [HMRC].
But he was later acquitted of all charges, toasting a crowd of fans outside Liverpool Crown Court with a mug of champagne and asking ‘Does anyone know where I can get a drink tonight?’ before being driven away.
He leaves behind his wife, Anne, who he married just two days before his death.