Comic Ken Dodd: I'm full of plumptiousness and highly tickled by knighthood

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Comedian Ken Dodd has said he feels "highly tickled" to have been made a knight in the Queen's New Year Honours.

The Liverpool star, famous for his "tickling stick", spoke of his pride after being named in the honours list.

He said: "I'm very proud, I'm very, very happy and full of plumptiousness. I feel highly tickled."

Ken Dodd
Ken Dodd (John Giles/PA)

The star, who was made an OBE in 1982, said: "I'd like to thank all the people who, for some time now, have been wishing this to happen and now it has happened."

He said it was worth the wait to receive the honour.

"You have to wait until you're asked and about a month ago I got a very surprising letter saying 'would you like to be a Sir?' and, if so, I would have to keep it secret," he said.

"I think it makes you feel just a little bit special, not too much, but a little bit special."

Ken Dodd
Ken Dodd (Peter Byrne/PA)

The 89-year-old vowed to continue raising money for charities and said he had no plans for retirement.

The star, who is currently touring with The Ken Dodd Happiness Show, said: "I'm not going to hang my tickling stick up yet. I go up and down the motorway like a human yo-yo and it's lovely. It's what I do."

The veteran comedian made his professional debut at the Nottingham Empire Theatre in 1954 and rose to fame with his Diddymen, characters who appeared with him on stage and TV.

Ken Dodd
Ken Dodd (Yui Mok/PA)

The Diddymen, played by children, were said to be from Knotty Ash, the area of Liverpool where Ken grew up and still lives.

In the 1960s he had a number of top 40 hits, including Love Is Like A Violin, Tears and Happiness, and in 1965 he hosted a 42-week residency at the London Palladium.

In 1989 he was charged with tax evasion but was acquitted after a three-week trial.

The comic is known for the length of his performances and made it into the Guinness Book of Records for telling 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours.