After undergoing five surgeries, changing his name by deed poll and buying a feather duster, there’s no denying that Barry Conroy now bears more than a passing resemblance to his hero, Ken Dodd.
“I got the idea from that fella who wants to look like a Ken Doll. I’ve always been a huge fan of this country’s greatest entertainer and once I’d cracked the accent, I thought ‘why not?’
“Like Ken, I started out touring the working men’s clubs with a tribute act, but it was before I’d fully transitioned into Doddy. It was tough. On my first booking in Wigan I got booed off and then I was attacked in a club in Sunderland where the crowd thought I looked more like Ann Widdecombe. That hurt more than the beating.”
Undeterred, Ken persisted. “It was the teeth that finally sorted it. I had to go to Hungary to get my overbite done, and even then it was only a translation app on my phone that stopped them slapping a pair of tits on me while I was under. I would’ve been tittyfabulous” he says, laughing and brandishing his tickling stick.
“When I got back from Hungary there were still some little bumps in the road” Ken (or is it Barry?) grins, recalling the controversy when he took to the stage with five dwarves dressed as Diddy Men.
“Political correctness is killing variety. Still, it’s all going well now and the bookings are rolling in.
“I’m even booked for the Presidents Club do at the Dorchester next year.”