Mourners line the streets of Liverpool for funeral of comedian Sir Ken Dodd
Hundreds of mourners have lined the streets of Liverpool as the city said a final farewell to comedian Sir Ken Dodd.
Along with the comedian's fans a Who's Who of Liverpool comedians and celebrities came to pay their last respects including Jimmy Tarbuck, Les Dennis, Tom O'Connor and Stan Boardman.
Ken's trademark tickle sticks were put up across Liverpool ahead of the funeral of the comedian who died earlier this month aged 90.
The furry red white and blue sticks were placed on landmarks ahead of the service at Liverpool Cathedral.
Two tickle sticks were placed on Liverpool Town Hall.
Others adorned a statue of The Beatles on the Pier Head, the Queen Victoria Monument on Derby Square, the Cunard Building and the Mersey Ferry.
A statue of Sir Ken has been returned to Liverpool Lime Street train station for the day after it was removed temporarily for building work to be carried out.
Ricky Tomlinson said he would talk about Sir Ken reminiscing about starting out in showbiz.
He said: "He was just a one off wasn't he? You can't compare anyone with Doddy.
"He inspired everyone in Liverpool and that's why so many people are here today, they loved him."
Comic Stan Boardman said: "He was a Liverpool man. He stayed in Liverpool, was born in Liverpool and died in Liverpool.
"And (he was) respected by everyone in Liverpool, not just as a comedian but as a man. He was a great fella."
Speaking outside the cathedral, comedian Roy Chubby Brown said: "I've been all over the world in my 50 years and I don't know anyone who didn't admire Ken Dodd.
"Everybody loved Ken and when I used to say 'oh he talks to me on the phone and he's a friend' I was more popular than ever."
Jimmy Tarbuck, who is due to speak during the service, said: "He was the greatest stage comic I've ever seen. I mean, at the Palladium, he did three seasons there and it was glorious.
"He never got giggle laughter, never little titters, there were roars of laughter like you've never heard. I've never seen anybody get laughs like him."
In a tribute, actress Stephanie Cole said two geniu ses had been lost this month - Stephen Hawking and "dear Doddy".
She said: "Both introduced us to universes we could not have imagined, both had very original notions of time.
Paying tribute to Sir Ken, she said: "He was a gentle man. He had a deep humanity and he made everyone he spoke to feel special.
"The first time I met him I was amazed by his lack of ego and his genuine interest in all that he met."
Jimmy Cricket paid tribute to Sir Ken before he gave a reading from St John's gospel.
He described him as "one of the most different, original, innovative and gifte d comedians".
He said: "We enjoyed him on the radio and the television but the live shows were special.
"From the moment he went on with his tickling sticks he created magic."
He added: "Ken always said his gift, his talents, were from God and comedians like Ken, they only come once in a lifetime.
"We thank God today that he came during our lifetime."
Friend, author and producer John Fisher described Sir Ken as a "joking, jumping, singing, skipping, verbal, visual whirlwind of laughter".
He s aid: "The lights are dimmed, the curtains closed on his wonderful world of variety.
"Ken Dodd was, no contest, the complete comedian, our greatest entertainer. But he was more. He was a life-enhancing force of nature."
He ended by saying: "We'll never see the like of Ken Dodd again. Thank you Sir Ken, tatty bye."Source: Google News