He was a true entertainer and a hit across generations. Steve Craddock and Geraint Jones speak to those in the region with fond memories of funny man, Sir Ken Dodd

Tributes have been paid to a legendary comedian who brought joy to audiences across North Wales.

Sir Ken Dodd - described by his many fans as a 'legend' and 'inspirational' - died on Sunday aged 90 just days after leaving hospital.

Former mayor of Mold cllr Anthony Parry spoke of the support the much loved entertainer showed his events, including his performance in a variety concert at Theatr Clwyd last year in aid of the town's Save a Life appeal.

Cllr Parry told the Leader: "He was a very generous man who in some ways liked publicity and in others shunned it.

"He was always very generous with his time and you could always rely on him for a clean family show with no swearing.

"He was extremely popular - we'd put the tickets up for sale and they would be gone within a week.

"He was a gentleman to the end and he will be sadly missed, especially in the entertainment community."

Liam Evens-Ford, executive director at Theatr Clwyd, said: "Everyone at Theatr Clwyd is so sad to hear of the passing of Ken Dodd.

"He played here many times, most recently last year for a charity performance.

"His sold-out shows were always a highlight at Clwyd, bringing waves of joy and laughter to our audiences. He was unique in so many ways, connecting the music hall era with the twenty first century.

"His love of performing and making people laugh, the warmth of his personality and the happiness and craft he brought to his work will be much missed by audiences and fans everywhere."

Ken Mack, 76, of Rhosddu in Wrexham, first encountered the great entertainer while working at the as a petrol pump attendant at Williams Shell garage in Walton, Liverpool.

He told how the showbiz legend, who drove a Humber Snipe car, stopping off while on his way to a show in Blackpool and receiving the customary free windscreen wipe and tyre and oil pressure checks.

Mr Mack joked: “I did the lot for Ken and here I am in 2018 still waiting for a tip.”

Some years after moving the Wrexham area, Mr Mack met the comedian again in around 1980 when he and his twin sons David and Kenneth came to town to open the Asda store at Wrexham Beast Market.

He said: “They immediately made a beeline Ken's tickling sticks hanging out his two pockets and took them out, and I asked Ken: ‘Are you looking for two more Diddy Men?

"He laughingly replied: “Not like them two.”

Mr Mack added that Liverpool would be in mourning, adding that it was a “very sad day for Scousers and the rest of the country”.

Hailing Ken Dodd’s gift for comedy and song, Mr Mack added; “He was a very talented all round man. I know we have just lost Bruce Forsyth but Ken Dodd is really on the same level at least as Bruce Forsyth.

“He was a great, great man who will be sadly missed by everyone because he brought a lot of happiness to everybody."

Leader reporter Geraint Jones interviewed Sir Ken Dodd during his time with the paper’s coastal sister titles before two of the legendary funnyman’s tours many visits to Llandudno and Rhyl.

“Interviewing Ken Dodd was more a case of asking maybe two questions, sitting back and enjoying a fascinating and often hilarious half hour or so in the company of a comedy icon," he said.

“He would have been in his mid-80s at the time, but Ken was in top form when I spoke to him, rattling off stories about his career and updating readers on how the Diddy Men were expanding their jam butty mining operation to Colwyn Bay.

“It was clear that Ken had a great love of North Wales. He performed countless shows across the region and also had family ties here, as his father came from the Mold area and he spent a lot of time in Penmachno, near Betws - y – Coed in his younger days.

“Chatting to Ken was an honour and it was obvious how, even with his advancing years, he still relished taking to the stage.”