Ken Dodd, revered as one of the UK’s funniest comedians, will be the very first to perform in the newly restored Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.

Ken, creator of the legendary Diddymen, is absolutely discumknockerated to be bringing his one-man Laughter Show to Cheltenham on Friday 23 September and to be the very first to tread the boards in the restored auditorium.

Says Geoffrey Rowe, Chief Executive: “We needed a show to open the theatre with few technical demands, so that we can test the new facilities before the first full week of performances. So a comedian... and who is most associated with old, lovely theatres and has played them all, several times? Ken Dodd of course – and what a comedian! Ken has been performing all around the UK for over 60 years and is probably the last of the traditional variety comics. I cannot think of a more suitable artist to re-open the Everyman. He has played here on many occasions to great success over the years and was last here in 2007.”

Ken has not stopped entertaining since he turned professional in 1954 and continues to pack theatres the length and breadth of the country.

“I love slaving over hot audiences” says Ken “because they love a good laugh and I never get tired of entertaining them.”

Ken has been seen in his own TV and radio series and specials like ITV’s much repeated An Audience With Ken Dodd and an hour-long This Is Your Life tribute.

He topped the charts with ‘Tears’, which today occupies a place in the Top 10 best-selling records of all time and of course his famous signature tune ‘Happiness’.

Ken has been awarded the OBE for his services to showbusiness and charity and other showbiz honours include the first ever Living Legend Award from the British Comedy Society and a Lifetime Achievement in the British Comedy Awards.

His portrait has been hung in the National Portrait Gallery and his name is commemorated in the first ever Avenue of The Stars in London’s Covent Garden.

Says Ken: “Entertaining gives me a true feeling of plumptiousness. I’m fizzing like a bottle of champagne with the cork out!... Discovering I could make people laugh was like being kissed by an angel.”