Dexter And Dodd

The veteran Liverpudlian comedian Ken Dodd writes very long jokes and tells shaggy dog stories. The erudite Oxford writer Colin Dexter, crossword king and creator of 'Inspector Morse', is economic with words and concise in his chapters. Yet they are each other's greatest admirers.

Fiona Lindsay, who knows them both, had the inspired idea to bring them together for the first time. In this programme they compare notes, exchange tips - and present a double act on stage before a packed hall at this year's Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Despite having collected their bus passes some time ago, neither jokesmith Ken Dodd nor crimewriter Colin Dexter will ever retire. Still irrepressible in their 80s, the two men are amongst our most successful and busy stage entertainers, selling out their shows nightly across the UK.

Each is famously private and low key in their domestic lives, yet they continue to perfect what they are most loved for - making words work. Both are language addicts: their obsession with how words are used has endured for over half a century.

The golden thread that joins these two greats is not only their love of entertaining the public but also their keen admiration for each other's linguistic artistry.

If they could have their time over again they'd both still choose a career in words.

Colin says he would love to have been a full time stage performer like Ken, using language in the same way as music, to convey emotions. Ken says he might have been a journalist or novelist, conveying other people's stories through carefully assembled written words, as Colin does.

Fiona Lindsay is a regular presenter at literary festivals.

Producer: Chris Eldon Lee

A Culture Wise production for BBC Radio 4.

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Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd, two entertainment giants who admired each other’s talent, were united on stage at the 2011 Cheltenham Literary Festival.

Fiona Lindsay, who knew them both, had the inspired idea to bring them together for the first time. In this programme, the two wordsmiths compare notes, exchange tips, jokes, and puns, and delight the Cheltenham audience with their double act.

Still irrepressible in their 80s, the two national treasures illustrate just why they were both so beloved. Dexter and Dodd were kindred spirits, in their love of entertaining the public but also their keen admiration for linguistic artistry.

Produced by Chris Eldon Lee.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011.

Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd, entertainment giants captured on stage together, back in 2011.

The veteran Liverpudlian comedian Ken Dodd writes very long jokes and tells shaggy dog stories. The erudite Oxford writer Colin Dexter, crossword king and creator of 'Inspector Morse', is economic with words and concise in his chapters. Yet they are each other's greatest admirers.

Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd are mutual fans - and they perform together for the first time.

The veteran Liverpudlian comedian Ken Dodd writes very long jokes and tells shaggy dog stories. The erudite Oxford writer Colin Dexter, crossword king and creator of 'Inspector Morse', is economic with words and concise in his chapters. Yet they are each other's greatest admirers.

Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd are mutual fans - and they perform together for the first time.

A Culture Wise production for BBC Radio 4.

Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd, two entertainment giants who admired each other’s talent, were united on stage at the 2011 Cheltenham Literary Festival.

Fiona Lindsay, who knew them both, had the inspired idea to bring them together for the first time. In this programme, the two wordsmiths compare notes, exchange tips, jokes, and puns, and delight the Cheltenham audience with their double act.

Still irrepressible in their 80s, the two national treasures illustrate just why they were both so beloved. Dexter and Dodd were kindred spirits, in their love of entertaining the public but also their keen admiration for linguistic artistry.

Produced by Chris Eldon Lee.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011.

Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd, entertainment giants captured on stage together, back in 2011.

Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd are mutual fans - and they perform together for the first time.

The veteran Liverpudlian comedian Ken Dodd writes very long jokes and tells shaggy dog stories. The erudite Oxford writer Colin Dexter, crossword king and creator of 'Inspector Morse', is economic with words and concise in his chapters. Yet they are each other's greatest admirers.

Colin says he would love to have been a full time stage performer like Ken, using language in the same way as music, to convey emotions. Ken says he might have been a journalist or novelist, conveying other people's stories through carefully assembled written words, as Colin does.

A Culture Wise production for BBC Radio 4.

Colin Dexter and Ken Dodd are mutual fans - and they perform together for the first time.