Stars pay tribute to 'true comedy legend' Sir Ken Dodd
Stars have paid tribute to comedy giant Sir Ken Dodd following his death aged 90.
The veteran entertainer has been hailed as a "legend" and an "inspiration", with tributes pouring in from everyone from Dawn French to David Walliams.
Sandi Toksvig wrote on Twitter: "Best dinner companion I ever sat next to. Don't think I said a word. Just laughed and laughed and tried not to drown in my soup. Thank you for the genius x"
Walliams wrote of the Liverpool funnyman: "Comedy flowed through him like water. RIP Sir Ken Dodd."
And referring to his distinctive appearance - the wild hair and unruly teeth - he added: "A face made for comedy."
John Bishop, who was born in Liverpool, wrote on Instagram: "True comedy legend. RIP Sir Ken Dodd."
Russ Abbot said in a statement to the Press Association: "Sadly another legend has passed away.
"An icon, a one off and a true professor of comedy. One of the greatest. How tickled I am to have known him."
Comic Gary Delaney called him "one of the all time greats", and, referencing the fact Sir Ken's shows could often last for hours, added: "The funeral will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday."
French paid tribute to Sir Ken with one of his famous jokes, writing on Twitter: "What a wonderful day for sticking a cucumber through your neighbour's letter box and shouting 'the aliens have landed!' Tatty bye Doddy. And thanks".
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson wrote that there would be a book of condolence:
"Liverpool today mourns one of its most famous sons the greatest ever comedian, Sir Ken Dodd. We are comforted by the joy and happiness he brought the world.
"A book of condolence will open later today and flags will fly half mast. Condolences to Lady Anne."
Comedian and TV star Brian Conley wrote: "Thanks for all the chats and guidance, you always had time for everyone...Dear Doddy tatty bye."
TV personality Claire Sweeney, a fellow Liverpudlian, shared 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."
Benidorm actor Paul Chan wrote about a chance encounter his mother 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."
Gyles Brandreth wrote: "He had a genius for laughter. And spread happiness wherever he went. The human tickling stick is gone and it's a sadder world. RIP Ken Dodd."
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".
Liverpool comic Les Dennis wrote: "Losing Ken means losing the last music hall great. He was a true star who lit up a theatre. Thoughts with his wife.Anne. Tatty Bye Doddy."
Actor and director Samuel West wrote: "Remembering Ken Dodd performing at the Crucible Theatre.
"We had to order taxis home for all the staff. His set finished after midnight (and nobody wanted a second less). May we all fill 90 years so well."
Irish comedian Dara O Briain remembered seeing Sir Ken at one of his "incredible five hour shows".
He said: "He was an education to watch and, afterwards, at 1.30am, he had beers with me in the dressing room and talked showbiz. A privilege, and a loss. RIP."
Tony Blackburn wrote: "So sorry to hear that Sir Ken Dodd has died..I went to see his shows and met him several times and found him to be a very lovely man.
"Thanks for all the laughs Ken, you made me, and a lot of people laugh for many years. R.I.P."
Sir Ken died in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, at the same house in which he was born in 1927.
Julian Richings, who has appeared in films such as X-Men: The Last Stand, described him as a "music hall great, entertainment legend, Liverpool pride", adding: "The lights are out in Knotty Ash."
Fans also paid their own tributes, and many of Sir Ken's infamous jokes were shared on Twitter.
One fan wrote: "Appropriate that this should be announced at about 1.15am as this is the sort of time his shows finished. What a legend, happiness was your greatest gift to us."
And another said: "Thank you for your amazing sense of humour and the laughs you left us with."