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Books

We were highly amused: the Queen — and Mrs Thatcher — thought Ken Dodd tattyfilarious

24 January 2020

10:00 PM

24 January 2020

10:00 PM

Happiness and Tears: The Ken Dodd Story Louis Barfe

Apollo, pp.336, £20

Doddy! Thou shouldst be living at this hour. England hath need of tickling sticks. So also hath the rest of the UK. At this time of political uncertainty, laughter is the one reliable panacea for all anxiety. Louis Barfe’s industriously thorough, entertaining biography of the late Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd, written with admiration verging on hagiography, portrays the comic genius who was the last performer to uphold this country’s tradition of vaudeville in music hall, on radio and television.

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