“Farewell to my fellow Liverpudlian, the tattyfilarious Ken Dodd,” tweeted Sir Paul McCartney.
His was just one of the many tributes that have been paid to the Liverpudlian comic, who passed away on Monday at the age of 90.
Actress and presenter Claire Sweeney told the BBC: “He was such an inspiration. Ken started my career off when I was just 14.”
She added: “The most precious thing you can give someone is advice and time.
“And he spans generations.” Sweeney was a support act for Dodd in theatres when she was a teenage singer.
The TV personality said Sir Ken recently offered to give advice and help to her three-year-old son.
“He told me: ‘If he’s got funny bones, send him to me – I’ll tell him everything he needs to know.’
“At his 90th birthday party in November, his brain was so sharp – it was such a lovely tribute to him. What a send-off in a way!
“He didn’t need TV to get exposure, he used to fill out stages. He’s never been seen as uncool or out of fashion.”
Sweeney added that his wife Anne was a huge support to him.
“When I was 14, we were performing at the Villa Marina in the Isle of Man – Anne would take notes of the jokes he’d made at the side of the stage. Behind every successful man is a strong woman.
“She was always there, she’s a wonderful lady.”
David Walliams said that “comedy flowed through him like water”.
Other stars also lined up to share their thoughts and anecdotes.
Fellow Liverpudlian comic Tom O’Connor told the BBC: “A great loss to entertainment. I feel sorry for any up-and-coming comedian who’ll never have a chance of seeing his brilliance at work.”
“True comedy legend. RIP Sir Ken Dodd,” John Bishop, another Liverpool comedian, wrote on Instagram.
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker was also a big fan, commenting: “Growing up I used to love it when Ken Dodd came on the telly. He was always mad and chaotic but he guaranteed a laugh.
“There were so many strings to his bow. Comedian, ventriloquist and – amazingly – in the 1960s his single Tears was the third highest-selling song in the UK. It was only outsold by two tunes from The Beatles!
“A cameraman friend tells a story about doing an interview with Ken many years ago. At the end, Mr Dodd put something in his top pocket and tapped it saying ‘Thanks for that, have a drink on me’. It was a tea bag!”
Great British Bake Off presenter Sandi Toksvig said of Sir Ken: “Best dinner companion I ever sat next to.”
Comedian Russ Abbot described Sir Ken as “an icon, a one-off and a true professor of comedy.
“One of the greatest. How tickled I am to have known him.”
Poet and comedian Pam Ayres tweeted: “Thank you, Ken Dodd. One of my happiest memories is of taking my mum to see him in the New Theatre, Oxford, and seeing her laugh as I had never seen her laugh in my life.”
DJ Tony Blackburn wrote: “So sorry to hear that Sir Ken Dodd has died… I went to see his shows and met him several times and found him to be a very lovely man. Thanks for all the laughs Ken, you made me, and a lot of people laugh for many years. RIP.”
Annie Wallace, who plays Sally in Hollyoaks, called Sir Ken a “true son of beautiful Liverpool”.
She tweeted: “So sad to hear of Ken Dodd’s death. A fine entertainer and true son of beautiful Liverpool, never to be forgotten. Tattifilarious!”
And Sir Ken’s wife Anne, his partner of 40 years who he married on Friday, said of her husband: “The world has lost a most life-enhancing, brilliant, creative comedian with an operatically-trained voice, who just wanted to make people happy.
“He lived to perfect his art and entertain his live and adoring audiences.”
A book of condolence has been opened at Liverpool Town Hall for people to pay their respects to the entertainer.
Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “Liverpool has lost one of its greatest sons.
“Ken was a phenomenal entertainer and I was proud to have called him my friend. He was a wonderful ambassador for the city, a tireless fundraiser for charities, and quite simply one of the nation’s greatest comics. He will be sadly missed.”
The flags at the Town Hall – along with some of the city’s other buildings – are set to fly at half-mast as a mark of respect.