Sir Ken Dodd gets last laugh by marrying partner before he died to avoid huge tax bill

Mike P Williams
The world of show business pays tribute to the late Sir Ken Dodd+

Sir Ken Dodd may have passed away this week but it didn’t mean he couldn’t have one parting swipe at the tax man.

Having married his long-term partner, Anne, just days before his death, it appears the comedian did so for a very specific reason – so his new wife avoids having to pay millions of pounds in inheritance tax.

The Liverpudlian’s reported £7.2 million fortune – including properties like his Liverpool home – would normally be subject to Inheritance Taxation which occurs when a person dies and their estate is passed down to a beneficiary.

Read more: Sir Ken Dodd: A Life in Pictures

However, if the recipient is a spouse, civil partner, or a charity then the process is not subject to any tax at all.

The world of show business pays tribute to the late Sir Ken Dodd

The news is particularly amusing after Dodd’s brush with the Inland Revenue in the 1980s, where he was accused of tax avoidance. The Scouse comedian was eventually found Not Guilty for swerving a £1 million tax bill after stashing £300,000 in a suitcase under his bed.

After a judge asked him what 300 grand in a case felt like, Dodd famously replied: ‘The notes are very light, M’Lord.’

Despite the financial saving, it’ll come as small respite for his bereaved widow, Anne, who has since spoken publicly about her late husband’s passing. Outside the home where the comedy icon was born in and lived for 90 years, she addressed the press.

She revealed she was ‘overwhelmed by the love and affection’ received from friends, the general public, and the comedian’s fans.

‘I have lost a most wonderful husband,’ Lady Anne said.

The much-loved star died on Sunday in the home he was born in. (PA)

‘We first met when I was in the Ken Dodd Christmas show in 1961 at the Manchester Opera House.

‘I’ve had the supreme joy and privilege of working and living with him as partner for the past 40 years. The world has lost a most life-enhancing, brilliant, creative comedian with an operatically-trained voice who just wanted to make people happy,’ she said.

‘He lived to perfect his art and entertain his live and adoring audience.’

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