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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008, 14:36 GMT
Comedy veteran Dodd on the mend
Ken Dodd
Comedian Ken Dodd was appointed an OBE by the Queen in 1982
Comedian Ken Dodd has undergone successful hernia surgery in Liverpool, which has forced two of his shows to be postponed.

The star, who turned 80 in November, told the BBC he was doing "fine" and would be back on stage next month.

Performances in Birkenhead and St Helens, which had been planned for this week, will now take place next month.

"The surgeon found my chuckle muscle and said it's in very good condition," the veteran comedian joked.

Mr Dodd was due to play at Birkenhead's Pacific Road Arts Centre on New Year's Day and the Theatre Royal in St Helens next Sunday.

Refunds will be given to fans who cannot attend the new gigs.

Mr Dodd said the surgery came after he suffered severe stomach pains just hours after performing before a sell-out crowd at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall.

Enduring appeal

"It's what you call a strangulated hernia. They brought me to the Royal Liverpool Hospital and did the operation right away."

He has nearly 30 other shows scheduled for the first half of 2008.

Showing characteristic good humour, the star said he had them laughing from his hospital trolley.

"As I was being wheeled down to surgery I was telling jokes. I was given an anaesthetic needle, I started off telling a joke and for the first time in my life I don't remember the end of it."

The star is famous for performing with his feather duster - or "tickling stick" - and has built his shows around Knotty Ash, the Liverpool suburb where he was born.

He tells fantasy stories of its inhabitants, whom he describes as the "Diddy Men".

Dodd was the subject of an Arena documentary on BBC Two on Christmas Eve, which followed him on tour and examined the reasons for his lasting popularity.

He said he had received messages of support from all over the world.

SEE ALSO
Doddy's goodbye to landmark stage
28 Feb 07 |  Merseyside
Doddy roots for school's success
14 Dec 05 |  Merseyside
Dodd backs cinema campaign
16 Aug 04 |  North East Wales
Obsessed Dodd fan detained
21 Nov 03 |  Merseyside
Dodd to get Freedom of Liverpool
01 May 01 |  Entertainment

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