Ken Dodd Marrying Long Time Partner Days Before Death Was A Smart Tax Move
Fans are still coming to terms with the passing of legendary British comedian Ken Dodd, after his death was announced on Sunday.
As the news was filtering through, it was revealed that he had married his long-time partner Anne Jones just two days before he died. Many thought it was one of those stories of a death-bed ceremony to provide some last-minute happiness and there's no doubt their nuptials were a joyful affair.
But there could have been a further advantage to the move, ensuring the 90-year-old finally got one over on the tax man.
If Ken and Anne hadn't tied the knot, his vast fortune - which according to the Metro was more than £7 million ($9.7m) - would have been subject to Inheritance Tax, which would have carved out a small chunk of the funds.
Through marrying her partner of 40 years, Anne will pay absolutely zero tax and the full amount can be divided between her and whoever else is named in his will.
The loveable comedian was famously charged with tax evasion in 1989, with authorities finding £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. The court case produced some pretty infamous lines - such as when the judge asked how Dodd what a suitcase packed with that much cash felt like, he replied: "The notes are very light, M'Lord."
His lawyer also hilariously quipped: "Some accountants are comedians, but comedians are never accountants."
After a three-week trial, he was eventually acquitted and referenced it many times during his routine.
But avoiding inheritance tax will obviously a very minor aspect of Anne's current situation as she's likely to be more focused on mourning Ken.
When news broke, she addressed reporters outside her Liverpool home, saying: "I have lost a most wonderful husband. We first met when I was in the Ken Dodd Christmas show in 1961 at the Manchester Opera House.
"I've had the supreme joy and privilege of working and living with him as partner for the past 40 years. The world has lost a most life-enhancing, brilliant, creative comedian with an operatically-trained voice who just wanted to make people happy.
"He lived to perfect his art and entertain his live and adoring audience.'
"[I have been] overwhelmed by the love and affection which I have already received from dear friends and the public.
"I thank you all for being here - thank you, thank you. I'm not used to this. Sorry to keep you in this rain!"
Ken had only recently been discharged from Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital after succumbing to a chest infection. Following that, his publicist Robert Holmes said: "He asked Anne if she wanted to marry. They got the registrar and were married in the house on Friday.
"He died two days later on Mother's Day. Anne is obviously very upset. They had been together for 40 years. It's a love story to beat them all."
The legend certainly leaves a hole in the comedy world, but his Guinness World Record still stands for telling the most amount of jokes in a single session, which was a casual 1,500 in less than four hours.
RIP Ken Dodd.
Featured Image Credit: PA