“GOOD evening, my name is Kenneth Arthur Dodd, singer photographic playboy and failed accountant.”

To that introduction, Sir Ken Dodd might have added ‘Bournemouth Echo columnist’, because the comedian wrote for the paper once a week during a lengthy season in the resort in 1969.

Sir Ken, who died at the weekend aged 90, was a mainstay at Bournemouth’s theatres for 60 years.

The coal merchant’s son from Knotty Ash, Liverpool, first came to the resort in 1957, only three years after turning professional.

He called it his “first trip abroad”.

When he played the Winter Gardens, in a show headlined by singer Alma Cogan, his name was “just a little bit bigger than the printer’s at the bottom of the bill”, he recalled.

Later, he wrote: “I’ve been trotting around this week having a look at some of Bournemouth’s colonies. It’s been great fun. I visited Poole and also popped over to have a look at the Isle of Wight.”

It was not long before he was back at the top of the bill. And in 1969, he was in town for a season that started in the summer and ran to October.

That July, he opened the swimming pool at the Marsham Court Hotel. Joking about the moon landings that were in the news, he said he was happy to be by “this sea of tranquillity, waiting for splashdown”. Hotel manager Martin Waide presented him with a solid silver tickling stick.

His column for Evening Echo on August 1 began: “By jove, it’s good to be back in bountifilarious Bournymouth, where the air is so relaxing yet bracing that every everyone is filled with plumptiousness.”

In a nod to the recent Isle of Wight festival, he went on: “The Isle of Wight has nothing to do with detergents you know. Their wights are no whiter than anyone else’s. Although all those pictures in the newspapers of those hippies having a happening would make you believe they are.”

Doddy kept himself busy in the community, and in September he handed over a van, provided by Swanage Round Table, to the WRVS Meals-on-Wheels service.

“Ever seen a rice pudding on a roller skate? And the ladies do a wonderful service for the old folk, going round squirting custard through the keyholes,” he said.

By October, his show had “broken every existing box office record”, and he said goodbye to the town in more serious vein. “I am thrilled and delighted with the response that you have given to myself, Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr, Rudy Cardenas, Eric Delaney and his band, the Grumbleweeds, the Malcolm Goddard dancers and our producer Maurice Fourneir,” he said.

He wasn’t away for long, and was often back to play the Winter Gardens, the Pavilion, and in 1982, a two-week engagement at Poole Arts Centre’s Towngate Theatre.

In September 1984, he opened Alderney Hospital’s League of Friends fete, while in the area for a three-week run at the Winter Gardens.

In 1989, the comedian found himself on trial at Liverpool Crown Court, accused of tax evasion. It emerged that he had £336,000 in suitcases in his home.

His supporters included Mudeford resident Margaret Franklin, who had been a close friend for 25 years since meeting him after a show at the London Palladium.

“In private he is not the eyes, teeth and tickling stick you see on the stage. He’s a very intelligent, deep thinking man who cares a great deal for others,” she said.

The trial ended in his acquittal on all charges, but journalists had little chance to ask him about it. For a long time, he did not speak to the papers, and in 1992 the Echo interviewed him via fax machine.

But after seven years of trying for an interview, Echo journalist Hilary Porter got a call out of the blue to say he would talk.

It was the first in a succession of very funny conversation.

In 1998, when he turned 70, he insisted: “It’s a lie – I’m thirty-several.”

By now, he was becoming a regular visitor to Dorset at the Easter weekend, his variety shows famous for running until well after midnight.

“These stars today do 50 minutes and then it’s ‘thanks very much, give me the money’ – I don’t believe in that.

“I was brought up on Tommy Cooper, Arthur Askey and Morecambe and Wise – they gave value for money with shows crammed full of talent.”

In 2005, he told how his father had been his mentor. “My dad wrote my very first script. He was a very funny man – the funniest man I ever knew,” he said.

He revealed sharp-eyed members of the audience might notice the writing on his hands and wrists. “They are key words to help me remember new jokes. I like to try out at least six new jokes each night,” he said.

Asked many times whether he would retire, he insisted he loved performing too much.

“I’ve learned how to tell jokes and warble but my tap dancing needs a little work, I think.”