For years, I've wanted to catch one of Ken Dodd's marathon performances, but, when he comes to the Marina in Lowestoft, he always sells out before a single poster can be put up to publicise the show. Thanks to a friend who's on the theatre's mailing list, I got in this time, and am unbelievably glad that I did. Much is made of the length of his shows: well, it ran for 5 hours, but felt like a very well-paced 2. I've known some comics who can make a 7-minute spot seem like weeks.
Some say he's the last of a rare breed, but, even in the glory days of variety, there was only ever one Ken Dodd. I'm not going to paraphrase any of the jokes. Only he can do them justice (some of the material has whiskers, but his delivery rejuvenates even the oldest, corniest gags). All I'll say is that if you have even the merest hint of a sense of humour, you must go and see him. I was lucky enough to go back after the show and say hello, having helped Roy Waller interview him on BBC Radio Norfolk last week. I gave him a copy of Turned Out Nice Again, he gave me a tickling stick. I'll be sure to treasure it.