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Ken Dodd: the sad story behind his marriage to Anne Jones

Ken Dodds will be created in BBC Two's Ken Dodds: How Tickled We Were 

Emmy Griffiths

Sir Ken Dodd was a remarkable and much-loved TV personality, who was perhaps best known for his stand-up routines which will be celebrated on BBC Two's Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were on Monday night. The comedian, who passed away in 2018, was in a 40-year relationship with his partner, Anne Jones, but only married her two days before his death, aged 90. Find out more about the sad story of their marriage. 

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Ken sadly passed away in 2018

Despite being in two long-term relationships over the course of his life, firstly to Anita Boutin, who died in 1977 aged 45, and secondly to Anne, from 1978 to his death in 2018, Ken was known to be against marriage. According to his biographer, Stephen Griffin, Ken believed that "marriage could lead to complacency in a relationship, and caused some couples to stop putting in any effort". 

Speaking about their wedding at the time, his publicist Robert Holmes said: "Ken wanted to make her Lady Anne at last, before he left her. When Ken came out of hospital he was still very frail and I think he knew he was going, despite all the typically upbeat talk about getting back on stage. When they got home to Knotty Ash he asked Anne to marry him." 

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Anne and Ken were together for 40 years

He continued: "They’d talked about it before, obviously – they’d been engaged for 40 years. But she was still surprised, although she said ‘yes’ immediately. Ken was in bed, too frail to get up, but he spoke beautifully to say his vows and he even had a glass of champagne – a tickle tonic. Anne said she was so very proud of him because he was terribly poorly." 

READ: Outnumbered: you won't believe how much the cast have changed

Paying tribute to him following his death, Lady Dodd said: "I have lost a most wonderful husband. He lived to perfect his art and entertain his live and adoring audiences. I've been overwhelmed by the love and affection which I've already received from dear friends and the public." 

READ: Gavin & Stacey: what the cast looked like then and now

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