A KEN Dodd super-fan from Horwich who supplied the late comic with one-liners during his stand-up sets has remembered ‘one of the warmest, kindest gentleman you could wish to meet’.

63-year-old Veronica Yorke met Ken as a teenager and would go on to become a close friend, who was regularly among his audience of loyal followers.

Ken died on Sunday in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, at the same house in which he was born in 1927

Veronica remembered: “My mum was from West Derby in Liverpool and Ken’s father was the coalman who used to deliver the coal to the house.

“I was introduced to Ken when I was 15. From then on we became friends.”

Veronica met her future husband through a blind date on the steps of Ken’s local, the Knotty Ash pub in Liverpool in 1975.

The couple numbered among Ken’s biggest fans – watching him perform his legendary marathon stand-up sets around ten times every year.

Always on the front row, Veronica became a trusted stooge of Ken, often supplying well-timed one-liners to supplement his act and set the comic up for gags.

“There was one routine where Ken would come on in a wig and ask who he looked like. I’d have to count a few seconds in my head and shout out: ‘Shergar!’

Ken would also reference Veronica and David in a bit that played on Merseyside and Lancashire rivalries, telling Bolton audiences: ‘I have a couple of good friends who live in a cave in Horwich’.

Veronica, who worked in the kitchens at Bolton Whites Hotel for 14 years, added: “We had tickets on the front row to see Ken at the Albert Halls in February before it was cancelled.

“It’s a very sad day for all his fans. There were many of us who used to go to all his shows. In the end we started to become proper friends and we’d chat backstage.

“There are many of us who are in shock today.

“Ken was one of the nicest, warmest, most caring gentlemen that you could ever wish to meet.”