Andy Eastwood

I am devastated to loose my hero, mentor, and friend Sir Ken Dodd. I first met him backstage at Bournemouth Pavilion when I was 14. He gave me an inspirational talking-to about show business even then. But when I got my first professional dates with him as a green uni graduate at 22, the work really started... it was like going back to school, with the greatest professor of variety entertainment in the world. Nobody understood show business better than Doddy. Nobody could do what he did. He pulled my act to pieces and taught me how to put it back together in ways that have earned me a living ever since. All my best ideas were given to me by him. Given out of sheer generosity. All I had to do was listen and learn. Over the past 16 years I've done about 350 shows with him. Packed houses in the most magnificent theatres. Sensational atmospheres many performers never have the privilege of experiencing. It has been an honour to know this giant of entertainment and we will never see his like again, as he was utterly unique and original. He was born in the age of vaudeville but outgrew it, expanding the quickfire music-hall turn into a monumental comedic journey. He transcended the mundane observations of alternative comedy with surreal inventions of absurd imagination. He stood firm against the cheap, shocking, blue aggression of today's TV comics and showed that an innocent witticism can still elevate a full theatre to helpless laughter by virtue of a subtly inflected delivery. It's hard to accept that I'll never again have the buzz of belting out my routine to a sizzling Ken Dodd audience, and seeing the legend at work, but I know that his influence in the entertainment world will live on immeasurably through the countless artists who have benefited from his genius. This is a terribly sad day but his lasting legacy will be happiness. Thank you Ken, you were the greatest. Andy Eastwood 12 March 2018
Sir Ken Dodd 1927 - 2018
Death of the nation’s favourite
The nation woke up this morning, 12 March 2018 to the devastating news that Sir Ken Dodd, the legendary Liverpudlian comedian has passed away. Not only have we lost the last in a line of great British comedians, but somehow this perhaps signals the death of traditional British variety which stems back over 100 years to the great days of British music hall. Sir Ken was a member of our Society for 22 years and recognised many years ago, the talent and potential of one of our members, Andy Eastwood. Sir Ken encouraged Andy and gave him a heaven sent opportunity to appear alongside the master on many of his theatre dates. Today Andy Eastwood is an internationally recognised entertainer who has never forgotten our Society and attends our conventions whenever his busy diary will allow. I reproduce Andy’s words here and wish to thank him for his kindness in allowing me to do so. Peter Pollard
Let GFS President Gerry Mawdsley share a nice Sir Ken Dodd moment… “When I started collecting for the statue of George in Wigan. Doddy rang me to ask if I had set up a statue fund account?  He told me that when I had, he would deposit the first £500....I set up the account. His was the very first donation.”