Globe writer Peter Grant meets Sybil Anne Jones who has co-written The Squire of Knotty Ash and his Lady - an intimate and candid biography of her life with her much-loved and much- missed husband Sir Ken Dodd.

SIR Ken Dodd was one of the nation's greatest variety entertainers.

Before he died, aged 90, he sealed his love for partner Anne by marrying her.

Now Lady Anne is keeping the legacy of her iconic husband alive with a book written with well-respected TV producer Tony Nicholson.

It tells the story of Anne and Ken's life together on and off stage.

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At more than 300 pages and with a wide range of photographs from the Ken Dodd archive, we are given a window into the life of one of the twentieth century's greatest laughter-makers and an insight into what made Kenneth Arthur Dodd tick.

Anne maintains that there were two Ken Dodds: the private, kind, erudite and spiritual man and the on-stage performer with trademark five-hour-long mirth and song marathons.

Ken and Anne were clearly a great match from the outset.

Sybil Anne Jones had her own showbusiness career which started before she met Ken.

In the 1960 she was a dancer (pictured, below) with the legendary Bluebell Girls on TV in Rome.

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The troupe appeared for a Christmas season at the Manchester Opera House where Ken was topping the bill.

They met and started a friendship which lasted 56 years and would blossom into a loving relationship and eventual marriage.

One thread throughout the book is Anne's pride in Ken's vast achievements.

She says: ''The thing I'm most proud of is that he was still a normal person underneath, with normal values, good values.

"He could talk to anybody, from royalty to ordinary peole in the street.

"And somehow, in amongst all the madness of showbusiness he kept sane. Totally sane. He didn't have any side to him.''

Anne says people loved writing to him ... and still do.

''We used to get so many wonderful heart-warming letters from every level of society.

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Lady Anne Dodd

"There were any number of loving and touching stories of how Ken had helped people through their darkest hours of ill health and bereavement by making them laugh again - allowing them to carry on living .

''I continue to receive such letters to this day. That makes me very proud of him.''

And so many people who knew Ken are proud of 'his Lady' Anne.

Friend of the family, comedy actor Ricky Tomlinson, said they were almost like a double act.

He says: ''She was his right hand. you know, it really should have been 'Doddy and Anne.'

It's not the first book she has collaborated on about Ken.

After he passed away, she edited a tribute collection of prose and poetry from fans called Absent Friends in 2018 .

But this biography is very personal, warm, funny and revealing and will be a must for fans.

Anne is enjoying promoting the book - aided by requests to give talks about the great man.

She says: "The talks have helped me after losing Ken. People tell me how they met him and what a great memory it is for them.

"It's very comforting. And I must have picked up some of Ken’s mannerisms, because people say 'You look like Ken up there!'

"It’s lovely that they see a bit of Ken in me.”

But has she started saying 'By Jove!' or 'Plumptious?'

''I finish talks with a Doddy quote: I will tell audiences Ken used to say 'Why on earth do we go on stage? It's because we want to be liked – we want to be LOVED!'

"And I end by saying 'I have found that he certainly WAS loved!' People then come and hug me.

''It's so lovely of them.”

The Squire of Notty Ash and his Lady (Great Northern Books - £17.99) .

All Anne's royalties from the sale will go to the Ken Dodd Charitable Trust.

Books can be ordered through Literally Books, New Brighton - one of Ken's favourite book stores and where he was an active patron.