Sir Ken Dodd lives in Knotty Ash on the outskirts of Liverpool just a short drive from the site of the Shakespeare North Playhouse. He is a passionate advocate for live theatre and has been entertaining audiences up and down the country for over 60 years. He made his professional debut at the Empire Theatre, Nottingham in September 1954 and went onto become a hugely popular performer: He made his debut at the London Palladium in 1965 and enjoyed an unprecedented 42 week sell-out season which earned him a Variety Club Award.
Sir Ken made his Shakespearean debut as Malvolio in Twelfth Night at the Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool in 1971, a role for which he was acclaimed. His film debut, meanwhile, was as Yorick in Kenneth Branagh’s 1997 version of Hamlet. In 2005 he addressed an audience in Stratford-upon-Avon for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His talk on Shakespeare and Humour was, given his famous live shows that often lasted five hours, appropriately titled ‘A fellow of infinite jest’.
Sir Ken was knighted by the Duke of Cambridge in March 2017 for his outstanding career in entertainment and for his substantial work with charities.