Sir Ken Dodd - What A Beautiful Day!



Garry Richardson talks to Ken Dodd about his life in comedy.

Born 90 years ago on November 8th 1927, Sir Ken Dodd still performs regularly to sell-out audiences around the country. As a ten-year-old, BBC Sports broadcaster Garry Richardson first saw Sir Ken perform and his fascination with 'Britain's greatest comedian' began.

Garry has been presenting on Radio 4's Today programme for 37 years, and is the longest-serving member of the team. In his spare time he regularly travels to Sir Ken Dodd's shows.

In this special documentary made for 4 Extra, the veteran comedian gives a fascinating insight into his life. He left school at 14 to help on his dad's coal round. Dodd explains how he went from performing with a teenage 'concert party' to a record-breaking run at the London Palladium. His long career was topped at Buckingham Palace when Sir Ken received a knighthood for his services to entertainment and charity.

With archive clips, 'What a Beautiful Day!' features an extended interview with Sir Ken, as well as new interviews with Sir David Jason, Roy Hudd, Jimmy Tarbuck, Judith Chalmers and Sir Ken's scriptwriter John Martin, who's been writing jokes for the comedian for over 25 years. All of them give their own perspective on just what makes Sir Ken Dodd's comedy tick. The tattyfilarious Squire of Knotty Ash shows no signs of stopping just yet...

Producer: Peter McHugh.

Made for BBC Radio 4 Extra and first broadcast in November 2017.