When Doddy met Stephen

In this excerpt of an interview with Ken Dodd and Stephen Shakeshaft, the two friends discuss how they first met.

The full interview was shown in the exhibition By Jove! It's Ken Dodd! Photographs by Stephen Shakeshaft.


Stephen Shakeshaft: This is interesting for me Ken because I'm sitting for the first time on the other side of the lens with you and I'm usually that way [points behind the camera]. 

Ken Dodd: Well you can tell it's quite an experience and it's very exciting. You are the happy flasher, you are certainly the best photographer I have ever had the privilege of working with.

SS: Well the first time I met you back in nineteen sixty something...

KD: Nineteen sixty something?

SS: 63 I think it was.

KD: Are you frightened of giving your age away then?

SS: No it was 1963 and I was 17. I had been a young photographer for a few weeks on the Liverpool Echo and I had been sent to take a picture of you to promote the Christmas Show at the Royal Court.

KD: Ah yes, the Royal Court Theatre.

SS: Well we sat on a box of turkeys and you held two turkeys in there.

KD: Did I? We had two turkeys?

SS: You had a turkey, you were sitting on a box of turkeys.

KD: We were allowed to keep them?

SS: No.

KD: Oh no.

SS: But you did make a note on the back of your hand...

KD: Yes.

SS: ...because in those days...

KD: Its still there, yes [looks at hand]. 'Don't forget the Paxo'.

SS: [Laughs] You did make a note of my name, which I was touched by, because you were fascinated by it.

KD: What, Shakeshaft?

SS: Yeah.

KD: Well it is an unusual name.

SS: It is, but...

KD: Is it your real name?

SS: [Laughs] Yes! But I realised then how observant you are and how much care you take when you do meet people.

KD: People are fascinating. Every person is like a book, everybody has a story to tell, everybody has relationships to talk about, everybody has different traumas and dramas and things to talk about. Yeah it's very exciting to talk to people.