It showed. He was as popular in the latter years as he was in the 1960s when he became a household name thanks to his stand-up routines, his tickling sticks and his Diddy Men.
And it also explains why his stage performances had a habit of over-running – Sir Ken, whose unruly hair and teeth was part of his persona, says no show was complete unless it ended with a laugh and a sing-song. In an age where comedians believe they have to be crude to be funny, the Liverpudlian, who died in the Knotty Ash home where he was born, was one of the last great variety artists because of his uncanny ability to deliver inoffensive jokes with side-splitting timing. In passing away two days after marrying his long-term partner Anne Jones, the lights have gone out on a born entertainer like no other.