THE death of comedy legend Ken Dodd has been greeted with much sadness by the town.

The famous Knotty Ash comedian died on Sunday aged 90, two days after getting married, with his wife at his bedside.

Doddy held a lifelong affection for St Helens people after cutting his showbiz teeth on our town’s pub and club scene.

Speaking before one of his marathon gag-packed Happiness Shows at the Theatre Royal, Sir Ken confided to the Star: “I served my apprenticeship in St Helens aged 14 and 15. I played all the clubs, including Haydock C&B, Chessies, the Exchange Vaults and at Carr Mill.

“I played in Wigan, but that was like going abroad. You had to get your passport stamped at Billinge.

“I might live in Knotty Ash, but I know Prescot, Whiston, St Helens and Thatto Heath.

“There are lovely people in St Helens – I love St Helens audiences.”

Doddy’s involvement with the town ran deeper. In 1982, tickling stick at the ready, he opened Windle Pilkington day centre.

After the opening of the revamped Theatre Royal, Ken said: “They have made a wonderful job. But a theatre is only a building. Some are beautiful, some not so, but it becomes a real, living thing when people are sitting in the seats.”