ENTERTAINMENT
28/03/2018 12:05 BST | Updated 28/03/2018 17:30 BST

Ken Dodd Funeral: Hundreds Of Fans Line The Streets Of Liverpool To Pay Their Respects To The Legendary Entertainer

Dotted along the funeral route were Sir Ken’s famous tickling sticks.

Hundreds of fans of Sir Ken Dodd lined the streets of Liverpool today to pay their last respects to the comedian, who died earlier this month at the age of 90.

The much-loved entertainer, famous for his tickling stick and Diddy Men, has been laid to rest at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral this afternoon.

Fans of the funny man lined the route of the funeral procession, led by a horse-drawn hearse that travelled the six miles from his birthplace of Knotty Ash to the cathedral.

Dotted along the route were Sir Ken’s famous tickling sticks, which were positioned on statues and outside public buildings. Flags at the Town Hall, St George’s Hall, Cunard Building and Central Library were also lowered for the day as a mark of respect.

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A statue of The Beatles sporting Ken Dodd's famous 'tickling sticks'.

Some fans were invited inside the cathedral to join Sir Ken’s friends and family in remembering him, whilst others watched the service on a large screen erected outside the cathedral.

The service was also broadcast live by BBC Radio Merseyside.

Many of the comic’s famous friends were pictured arriving at the service including Les Dennis, Jimmy Tarbuck, Roy Chubby Brown and Claire Sweeney.

As he arrived, actor Ricky Tomlinson said: “He was just a one-off, wasn’t he? You can’t compare anyone with Doddy. He inspired everyone in Liverpool and that’s why so many people are here today, they loved him.”

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Ricky Tomlinson

Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck added: “He never got giggle laughter, never little titters, there were roars of laughter like you’ve never heard. I’ve never seen anybody get laughs like him.”

The legendary British entertainer died on 11 March, days after leaving hospital where he had been treated for a chest infection.

He married Anne Jones, his partner of 40 years, at their house just two days before his death.

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Sir Ken, with his partner, Anne Jones, at Buckingham Palace after he was made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by the Duke of Cambridge.

Shortly after his death, Anne spoke about the loss of her husband, who she had been in a relationship with for more than 40 years.

“Ken had a wonderful life. I just didn’t want it to end,” she said at the time.

“He used to say to people who told him they have lost a loved one, ‘you haven’t lost them, they’ll always be with you’, tapping his heart. And I keep telling myself that.”

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Sir Ken's wife, Anne, leaves their home in Knotty Ash ahead of his funeral at Liverpool Cathedral.

On the subject of the public reaction to his death, Anne added: “Ken had more ideas and things to do I know. But the outpouring of love and admiration for Ken from the whole country has been overwhelming.

“There’s a mountain of flowers outside the house, full of heartfelt messages. We’ve had sackfuls of mail and all the cards are being opened.

“They include amazing messages and letters of comfort, which I shall be able to read properly when everything has settled down.”

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Les Dennis arrives ahead of the funeral service of Sir Ken Dodd at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, remembered Sir Ken as “the ultimate showman, a truly unique performer and a wonderful ambassador for Liverpool”.

He said last week: “Although Wednesday will be a sombre occasion, it is an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to an unforgettable man.”

Ken Dodd's Funeral