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, is due to be 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.
Some fans have been invited inside the cathedral to join Sir Ken’s friends and family in remembering him, whilst others will watch the service on a large screen erected outside the cathedral.
The service will also be broadcast live by BBC Radio Merseyside.
he 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.
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.”
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.”
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.”