IT was front page news in April 1969, when Ken Dodd came to town.

The Evening Times reported: “Ken Dodd stopped the traffic in Glasgow today as, beating a drum, waving his tickling stick and eating chips, he marched along Wellington Street followed by five Glasgow Diddy men.

“Hundreds stopped to watch and shouted a welcome to the comedian who tops the bill in the latest Startime show which opens at the Alhambra tonight.....”

In a bizarre footnote, the report ended: “Ken will take time off to visit the Wigtownshire village of Kendoon, which he is thinking of buying.”

(He really did plan to buy Kendoon (not far from Dodd Hill and Loch Ken, weirdly enough) because it sounded a bit like his name but in the end it seemed he was talked out of it.)

The next day’s Evening Times gave his show a rave review.

Glasgow Times:

“During its lifetime the Alhambra Theatre has featured the cream of the entertainment world but I doubt if in all its glittering history it has ever starred a funnier man than Ken ‘Diddy’ Dodd,” it said. “He reduced last night’s audience to a state of near-hysteria with a performance that was Chaplinesque in brilliance and technique and at times pure music hall burlesque.

“If we had top of the billers like Ken every week, the Alhambra’s future would be bright for the next hundred years.”

Sadly, the Alhambra was on its last legs when Dodd played that run of gigs. The owners had announced the previous November that they were seeking offers for the place.

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Our photographers snapped Ken as he signed a petition that called for the famous theatre to be kept open. In fact, he was one of the very last acts to appear there and it finally closed its doors on May 24.

Ken recalled the first time he had played Glasgow, at the notorious Empire Theatre, which had closed down in March, 1963.

Glasgow Times:

“By the time Friday night came along I was petrified,” he said. “I was almost numb when my turn came to go on stage. I think someone gave me a push, but I stumbled on, my eyes twitching and my teeth flashing on all cylinders.

“My hair was standing upright, but I don’t know if it was lacquer or fear that kept it that way .

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“I was just getting into my act when a bloke brandishing a half-bottle of whisky lurched on to his feet and shouted ‘You’re rotten’ then fell back into his seat. However, from then on, everything was just fine.”

Our archives also have touching pictures of Ken visiting the Bridgeton Child Welfare Clinic and Day Nursery, to give his support to Glasgow Corporation’s anti-polio immunisation campaign.

Glasgow Times:

Armed with his ticking stick, he chatted to the families and handed out vaccine-impregnated sugar lumps.

“THE most important thing in the world,” he said, getting serious for a moment, “is that every diddy kid should be able to jump and sing, and dance and play. They cannot do this if they catch polio. Can I appeal to all mums to bring their kids along to be immunise?”

Did you see legendary comic Ken Dodd in Glasgow? Get in touch to share your memories and photos.