The Royal Court has marked it’s first ‘Doddy Day’ by unveiling a new mural tribute to the late legendary Liverpool entertainer.
Artist Paul Curtis, who also designed the Liver Bird wings mural in the Baltic Quarter, has created two giant panels on former advertising hoards by the stage door at the Art Deco listed landmark.
The murals were officially unveiled by Anne, Lady Dodd on the second anniversary of the death of the ‘Master of Mirthyside’.
And she said Sir Ken – pictured with his trademark tickling stick on the promenade of a British seaside resort - would have been “humbled and thrilled…he would have said this is tattyfilarious”.
The murals were commissioned by The Comedy Trust.
Artistic director Sam Avery explained: “We’ve always held Ken Dodd in high esteem; we see him as the grandfather of comedy in this city.
“His message of happiness and joy and how comedy and laughter can help chimes with the organisation whose aim is to create happy, healthy people with humour.”
Lady Dodd and Paul Curtis revealed the artwork as the Royal Court Community Choir led the assembled crowd in a rendition of Happiness.
Anne, Lady Dodd unveils one of Paul Curtis's Doddy murals. Above: With two of Ken Dodd's famous tickling sticks
Doddy also played a huge part in keeping the Royal Court open, performing for months at a time to sell-out audiences throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s. It was at the Roe Street theatre that, in 1974, he broke the World Record for non-stop joke telling, delivering a staggering 1,500 punchlines in one three-and-a-half-hour session.
And in the late 1970s he was a part of the Royal Court Theatre and Arts Trust who bought the building when it looked likely to go under and even sold the first tickets at the box office for The Ken Dodd Laughter Show, which reopened the theatre in 1978.
From now on The Comedy Trust’s annual Doddy Day will be held on November 8 – the Knotty Ash funnyman’s birthday.