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Prior to Sir Ken Dodd’s death, the comedian married his long term partner in secret.
The comedy icon had been with his other half, Anne, for over 40 years, but the pair hadn’t tied the knot – until now.
A statement from the star’s publicist, Robert Holmes, revealed the pair married at their home on Friday (9 March).
Read more: Sir Ken Dodd: A Life in Pictures
‘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 was almost married decades ago to Anita Boutin, but she died of a brain tumour in 1977, after spending 24 years of their lives together.
Ken met Anne, a former bluebell dancer who also performed alongside him in his shows, shortly afterwards. The pair stayed together until his death, after he’d battling a chest infection just weeks previously and had been admitted to hospital.
Due to fertility woes, the couple never had any children despite trying IVF.
According to the Liverpool Echo, they received a call from Holmes about the news of the star’s death in the early hours, where he expressed his sadness but also happiness that the couple were able to become man and wife: ‘It is so sad, but what is so lovely is that Ken was able to marry his beloved Anne in a private ceremony at home on Friday.’
‘And, being a Knight of the Realm, there will actually be a marriage announcement in The Times on Tuesday.
‘They were together for 40 years and this is the love story to end all love stories.
‘I was so pleased for them both – and I am so pleased that Anne is now Lady Anne.’