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Comedian Ken Dodd wed his partner of 40 years two days before his death

Tributes pour in for 'comedy great'

Sir Ken Dodd has been described as a "legend" and an "inspiration" as celebrities and fans shared fond memories of the popular comedian following his death at the age of 90.

Sir Ken died in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, at the same house in which he was born in 1927. His wife was at his bedside.

He wed Anne Jones, his partner of 40 years, on Friday and an announcement was due to go out later this week about the marriage.

The comic, who died on Sunday just days after leaving hospital, was famous for his epic stand-up shows and his tickling stick, and had a legion of loyal followers whom he continued to entertain even through his later years.

As news of his death broke in the early hours of Monday morning, fellow comedians and television stars paid tribute to Sir Ken on social media.

Comic Gary Delaney called him "one of the all time greats", and, referencing the fact Sir Ken's shows could often last for hours on end, added: "The funeral will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday."

Over the 1960s, he entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest joke-telling session ever - 1,500 jokes in three-and-a-half hours.

His TV shows included The Ken Dodd Show, Beyond Our Ken and Ken Dodd's Laughter Show, and he entered the big time in 1965 with the longest-ever run at the London Palladium - 42 weeks.

He entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest joke-telling session ever - 1,500 jokes in three-and-a-half hours

Television personality Claire Sweeney, a fellow Liverpudlian, shared some photos of the star's 90th birthday party on Twitter.

Alongside them, she wrote: "RIP Sir Ken Dodd. A legend and an inspiration. I have a lot to thank You for. I Was thrilled you had the best birthday party in Liverpool before you left us. Your city, friends,Family and Show business will miss you terribly."

Paul Chan, known for playing Mr Wu in comedy series Benidorm, wrote about a chance encounter his mother had had with Sir Ken several decades ago.

He said: "In the late 70's he came to my mum's chippy and ordered fish 'n' chips. He left and sat in his Rolls Royce, parked outside, eating them. Then he came back in to ask for the bin and drove off. My mum didn't know who he was. That's my Ken Dodd story."

Other tributes came from actor John Challis, who played Boycie in comedy television series Only Fools and Horses, and Hollyoaks actor Annie Wallace, who described him as a "true son of beautiful Liverpool".

Irish comedian Dara O Briain, known for hosting panel shows such as Mock the Week, remembered seeing him at one of his "incredible 5 hour shows".

He said: "He was an education to watch and, afterwards, at 1.30 am, he had beers with me in the dressing room and talked showbiz. A privilege, and a loss. RIP."

His publicist Robert Holmes told the Press Association: "To my mind, he was one of the last music hall greats. There is no-one else that comes close.

"He passed away in the home that he was born in over 90 years ago. He's never lived anywhere else. It's absolutely amazing.

"With Ken gone, the lights have been turned out in the world of variety.

"He was a comedy legend and a genius."

He said of his marriage: "He asked Anne if she wanted to marry. They got the registrar and were married in the house on Friday.

"He died two days later on Mother's Day. Anne is obviously very upset. They had been together for 40 years.

"It's a love story to beat them all."

Sir Ken, known for his unruly hair and teeth, performed his very last show just months ago, at The Auditorium in the Liverpool Echo Arena, in his native city, on December 28.

But all 2018 dates had to be cancelled due to his illness and subsequent hospital stay.

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