Readers’ letters - January 5

Comedian Sir Ken Dodd deserves his knighthood says a correspondent. See letter
Comedian Sir Ken Dodd deserves his knighthood says a correspondent. See letter

Ken deserves to be a Sir

For those who have never seen the living legend Sir Ken Dodd perform live on a theatre stage, I urge you to do so before it’s too late.

He is now 90 years of age, and undoubtedly the hardest working British comedian of all time.

He started his career in 1954, playing many of the northern working men’s clubs.

His energetic and eccentric appearance made him very different to the other comedians of his generation.

By 1965 he was a household name, at the top of his game, performing 42 weeks of sell out shows at The London Palladium and doing three marathon shows on a Saturday!

He also has a fine light baritone singing voice and actually out-sold the Beatles in 1965 with his ballad song Tears.

He sold millions of records in what was then a very lucrative easy listening market.

In 1971 he was invited to play Malvolio in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

He also appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s film version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in 1996.

His comedy act today still features a mix of song and ventriloquism with his ancient puppet Dickie Mint.

In 1989, having worked non-stop for 35 years, he was the subject of a major Inland Revenue tax investigation.

He instructed the late George Carmen QC to represent him, who famously quoted “some accountants are comedians – but comedians are never accountants”.

When asked by the judge: “What does £100,000 in a suitcase feel like?” Ken Dodd famously replied: “Its very light M’Lord”. His Crown Court trial lasted three weeks, he was finally acquitted. Although the trial took its toll on his health, in hindsight it reignited his career and, before long, he was back at The London Palladium performing sell-out shows in 1990.

He has a brilliant brain, blessed with a comedy gift, with delivery and timing that may never be seen again.

A definite one-off unique character.

He has also done a lot for charity and made his home town city of Liverpool proud.

He duly deserved to be knighted by the Queen in the 2017 New Years Honours List.

Stephen Pierre

Via email

european union

Brexit is doomed

Sir Ivan Rogers’ decision to quit as the UK’s ambassador to the EU before Brexit talks begin at the end of March raises alarm bells, not just about the forthcoming talks themselves, but about the current Government’s ability to actually proceed with these talks.

Sir Rogers is regarded as one of the leading experts on the EU and, without him, Brexit becomes an almost impossible task. David Cameron’s original decision not to have a ‘plan B’ in place for Brexit, not only displayed political arrogance taken to a ridiculous extreme, but arguably indicated the actual scale of difficulty in putting together an alternative package to the European Project.

Sir Rogers has already indicated that it would take at least ten years to negotiate new trade terms with Europe.

However, the UK has become so integrated and assimilated into EU legislation itself that even knowing where to begin to unravel such complexity will be a major operation.

It is certainly something that could not be resolved within two years from the triggering of Article 50.

We forget that our politicians are often only figure-heads for their departments, and it is people like Sir Rogers who actually have to do the real work.

And Brexit will surely fail without an army of Sir Rogers in place.

Paul Dodenhoff

via email