Sir Ken Dodd’s widow has sold the rights to his jokes to a West End producer.
Lady Anne Dodd - who spent 40 years with the comic but only married him two days before his death at the age of 90 in 2018 - gave away her husband’s life work for an undisclosed sum to Michael Harrison.
Speaking to the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, the legendary one-liner comic’s widow explained she was “thrilled and delighted” that the ‘Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat’ producer was taking “Ken’s story to the stage.”
Anne said: “It will be a tattyfilarious celebration of laughter and happiness.”
Michael - who also has worked on ‘Oklahoma!’ and ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ - realised that the ‘An Audience With…” funnyman was “in a class of his own” after his grandfather took him to see him perform in the flesh as a child and is looking forward to immortalising Ken on stage.
He said: “I saw him on TV, but it was seeing him live that made you realise he was a comic artist in a class of his own."
Michael outlined that the sale entails “everything written down, filmed and recorded… even witticism scribbled down on scraps of paper" and is now focusing on finding the right actor to take the top billing.
He said: “The key is going to be: 'How do you cast a genius?' But that worry can be attended to once the show is written."
To kick off the creative process, Michael intends to hire a playwright, who he would take to talk with Lady Anne, explore Knotty Ash in Liverpool - where Ken was born and raised - and then write a show, a process expected to take "two or three years".
Recently, Lady Anne shared how Ken was “a romantic person” as she opened up about their correspondence in the early days of the pair's relationship during the 1970s.
She said: “He was a romantic person. I got wonderful cards. He used to leave messages around for me to find. He was a bit of a tease as well. He got a rubber spider once and put it on the back of my shoulder because I hate spiders. But most of the time at home he was quite serious. Comedy is serious work.”