Ken Dodd

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Dr Kenneth Arthur Dodd OBE (born 8 November 1927) is a British comedian and singer songwriter, famous for his buck teeth, frizzy hair, feather duster (or "tickling stick"), and his catchphrases, often playing on the 'tickled' motif, ex: "How tickled I am!". He works mainly in the music hall tradition, although, in the past, has occasionally appeared in drama, including as Malvolio in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night on stage in Liverpool in 1971; on television in the cameo role of 'The Tollmaster' in the 1987 Doctor Who story Delta and the Bannermen; and as Yorick (in silent flashback) in Kenneth Branagh's film version of Shakespeare's Hamlet in 1996. In total he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.[1] In the 1960s his fame was such that he rivaled The Beatles as a household name.[2]

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Style career and achievement

Dodd's stand-up comedy style is fast and relies on the rapid delivery of one-liner jokes. He has claimed that his comic influences include other Liverpool comedians like Arthur Askey, Robb Wilton, and Tommy Handley.[3] He intersperses the comedy with occasional songs, both serious and humorous, in an incongruously fine light baritone voice.

Dodd has had many recording hits, charting on nineteen occasions in the UK Top 40, including his first single "Love Is Like a Violin" (1960), produced on Decca Records by Alex Wharton, which charted at number 8 (UK), and his song "Tears", which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965, selling over a million copies. This remains one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all time. Dodd was selected to perform the song on A Jubilee Of Music on BBC1 on December 31, 1976, a celebration of the key pop successes of Queen Elizabeth II's first twenty-five years as UK monarch.

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