Doddy's fans get their money's worth

COMEDY legend Ken Dodd made sure the £16 ticket price for his Ipswich show was worth every penny by staying on stage for more than five hours.The unstoppable 77-year-old kept fans laughing until 1.

COMEDY legend Ken Dodd made sure the £16 ticket price for his Ipswich show was worth every penny by staying on stage for more than five hours.

The unstoppable 77-year-old kept fans laughing until 1.15am today in what must have been one of the Regent's longest one-man shows.

Despite the efforts of the venue's management, who had a clause restricting his performance to a midnight finish entered into the contract for last night's show, the king of the Diddy men gave a five-hour-and-25-minute performance.

The 325-minute show lasted as long as three-and-a-half football games, longer than it takes to cross America by aircraft and longer than it takes to travel between London and Glasgow by train.

The Evening Star's reviewer, Bruce Wade, said some people in the audience left at the interval at 10.15pm, apparently believing Dodd's performance had finished.

After the interval Dodd emerged with a flask and packed lunch and joked with the audience that if they attended one of his future performances they should bring supportive socks to avoid deep vein thrombosis.

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Some members of the audience left during the show but there were still hundreds in their seats for the 1.15am finish.

"By the time it finished there were probably about 20 per cent of the audience gone," Mr Wade said.

"Just before the end of the show he made a joke about people leaving. He said 'don't bother getting a taxi, get a milk float'.

Following epic performances by Dodd at the Regent in previous years, staff tried to reason with the comedian that his shows should finish earlier.

However Shelley Rooke, the manager's assistant at the Regent, said it was a well-known fact that Dodd finishes his shows when he wants to finish them.

"He's well known for not stopping," she said.

"We actually had a word last year. We said if people have to get up for work in the morning maybe they won't buy tickets next year.

"We have to warn staff it is a Ken Dodd show, so it's going to be a late night."

But she added Dodd was a pleasure to work with and audiences continued to come back performance after performance.

"The audience love him, it was a complete sell-out for us," Ms Rooke said.

"People just leave during the show, he doesn't mind at all.

"He's a lovely gentleman to work with and it's value for money for customers.

"Because there's no music we don't have the curfew problem which we do for the large music events."

N Review – see page 29

N Did you manage to last the full performance by Ken Dodd? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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