Globe columnist and close friend of Sir Ken Dodd, Peter Grant says "tatty bye" to his hero.

THIS is the one obituary I never ever wanted to write.

The one I never thought would be needed.

I believed he would go on and on just like his famous shows.

I always said when Kenneth Arthur Dodd walked into a room he lit it up.

There is now a light that has gone out forever in his beloved Liverpool and across the UK.

Ken Dodd at 90 glorious years of age has reluctantly left the stage.

I first saw the quick-witted, one-time coal merchant turned comedy genius when I was a child propped up in front of a television set by my docker dad who wanted me to see the "funny man with the hair and the teeth."

I grew up from my own diddy man status and became a journalist – Doddy's other chosen profession had he not made it as a comic.

I reviewed him at the Royal Court.

Four hours later it had changed my life. I was lucky to get to know him better.

He always welcomed me like an old friend.

I worked on his photo album, semi-auto-biographical book Look at it my way - an experience I will remember fondly.

He was a joy to work for but also, at times, it was also a frustrating experience because he was a 100 per cent perfectionist.

I was honoured to be in one of the handful of people allowed in his Knotty Ash home - the one where his parents lived and where he relaxed in all of his 90 glorious years and where he died.

It is where he married his partner of 40 years the loyal, devoted, loving woman he called 'Lady Anne.'

I have so many memories of the most naturally funny man I have ever met.

Happily, no one can ever take them away from me.

But, oh how I will miss his phone calls, our chats with tea and ginger snap biscuits and the Christmas cards.

There will be tributes pouring in this week.

But for me the best came when he was alive from Eric Sykes who said Doddy should have been prescribed on the NHS.

This comedian, singer, actor, ventriloquist loved words and he devoured books (he certainly had the teeth for it).

There will be tributes from the people in the entertainment world and from those who had never met him - and yet felt as if he was part of their family.

He was a deeply religious person who never lost his faith.

I have tears in my eyes as I write this.

As his record-breaking hit number one song reminds me: "tears are my only consolation."

There is a legend in Liverpool that when the Liver Birds fly away the city will never be the same again.

Today the third Liver Bird left us.

He loved Merseyside.

Merseyside loved him back.

I once asked him how he would like to be remembered and without hesitation he smiled that toothy grin, ran his hands (covered in jokes written in biro) through his trademark ruffled hair and said just one word.  .  .


He was at the top of his game for 60 years – right to the end. He lived a life worth living.

This great man made a difference.

Sir Ken Dodd leaves a legacy of laughter from Liverpool and across the country that will resonate for as long as we all embrace his magical mantra ... spread happiness to each other.

Farewell, my old friend ... dear Doddy.

Peter Grant