BY JOVE, today should be offi - cially made Doddy Day.

In an age of national awareness days - even Guy Fawkes has one - it is only right we honour our greatest living comedian with such a discomknockerating diary date.

A whole day - November 8 every year from now on – should be dedicated to Sir Ken, who is a remarkable 90 years of age today.

If we really do have to have a national treasure then he is top of the league.

My friendship with the comic genius started 40 years ago when I went to the Royal Court to see him perform.

I had made a huge mistake.

I booked tickets for the front row.

As the great man once pointed out, seeing him on stage is an education.

You walk away saying 'well, that taught me a lesson.' 

When I arrived at the venue the show had already started and Ken was brandishing his tickling stick like a conductor's baton.

As I tried to creep in, he spotted me and asked for the spotlight to be put on me saying: "what time do you call this?

"Have you been in the pub next door?".

At the interval (10pm) I went backstage and told him I was a reporter and he said, straight-faced: "I'm sorry to hear that."

When I told him about a new comment column I was writing for the Globe he told me to spread happiness as there was too much gloom around.

Now, 180 issues on, he continues to inspire me.

Next month he will again present the NHS Nurses service at Liverpool Cathedral - a towering figure as huge in spirit as their Christmas tree. Laughter will echo throughout the evening.

Sir Ken Dodd is the most naturally funny person you will ever meet.

This week, while being interviewed by a serious broadsheet paper, he broke off from the chat to inform the journalist that Jurgen Klopp has a daughter called 'Klipperty.' 

He is someone to celebrate with a birthday toast today.

Alas, I am now teetotal, but I have promised Ken I will have a glass of champagne when he walks out on stage on his 100th birthday.

Grinning with his trademark teeth, he said: "I'll drink to that, too, son."


I NEVER thought I would find a rucksack inspiring.

But full credit to The Lauries Rucksack Challenge 2017 where the YMCA Wirral and the Birkenhead- based Charles Thompson Mission help the homeless in a truly practi- cal way.

Wirral's Chamber of Commerce also supports this scheme following a Facebook campaign to give the homeless a 'utility' bag full of essential items.

In the past I have tried to help the plight of the homeless by writing about it, even sleeping rough under Waterloo Bridge to interview people who had found themselves there some through choice others through no fault of their own.

I was surprised, however, to see the amount of selection boxes that were given out at Christmas when some people simply cried out for warmth.

So a rucksack can help - for now.

Filled with socks, scarves, gloves and bobble hats.

I have one suggestion to add - a Thermos flask for keeping drinks piping hot.

I have never known such cold as I did sleeping rough on that icy winter's night.

So, rucksack at the ready, I will start packing to do my bit.



That seems to be the response to this year's firework display which helped erase last year’s wash-out of a show.

Watching the showering sparks in the sky accompanied by Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die was as impressive as Macca's own special effects on stage when he performs it live.

So it was spectacular for another reason - the council responded to what people wanted.

Granted, it wasn't without its faults, but there's light at the end of both Mersey tunnels and it's something to build upon on.

Oh and special praise to one unannounced guest - a free attraction in the form of a stunning orange moon (you can come again).



We now know where BBC's W1A satire gets its gobbledook from – enough to cause ructions in the Plain English Campaign HQ.

Wirral Council is one of 10 local authorities receiving up to £100,000 from the Government to help transform some aspects of public services.

We now have our own wonderfully-titled 'cabinet member for delivering differently' - Christine Spriggs.

Minister for cabinet in Whitehall, Francis Maude, said in his best W1A terminology: "The entire public sector needs to do more with less ... while providing services that work better for local people and I'm pleased that we can support pioneering councils from across the country who want to take control of their services and leave state bureaucracy behind."

Let's hope the Emperor's new clothes aren't coming out of the dry cleaners.


DID you know parents tell their children three white lies a day?

Honest. I thought that was politicians.

According to a survey by Channel W TV we want our kids to tell the truth.

Here are just three classic fibs: "Yes, were nearly there", "Father Christmas has a naughty list" and the most heart-less of all "When the ice cream van plays the music it means they’ve sold out." 

Why did I always fall for that?

AND finally ...

A classroom in London has 181 pupils - now that's what I call capital punishment.

Pity the teacher who has to say "pay attention at the back."

It would be quicker texting them.

Peter Grant