Wednesday, 26 November 2014
20 Ken Dodd and the Diddymen
First watched : Uncertain
Sadly this show is a fading memory as it appears all the episodes have been wiped. There's not much on the net; the series doesn't have a wikipedia page of its own or an imdb entry and there are no clips from the series on youtube. There are still some annuals and records knocking about but no footage to jog the memory. I liked it but can't remember too much about it other than it briefly popularised the word "marmalize" as a threat of violence.
It's been claimed that the Diddymen and their jam butty mine in the real life Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash derive from local folklore. That may be dubious but they do pre-date Doddy, having been mentioned in his idol Arthur Askey's routine. Doddy realised them with rather scary-looking string puppets who spoke with his speeded up voice.
Much of the humour derived from national stereotypes so probably wouldn't have aged too well and certainly any suggestion that Hamish McDiddy was careful with his money would be received with a wry chuckle now.
It was broadcast on Sunday evenings in ten minute episodes. I don't know how many episodes were actually made but it ran between 1969 and 1973. The Diddymen continued to feature in his stage routine and sporadic TV appearances but as children or dwarf actors rather than the actual puppets.