FULSOME tributes have been paid to the 'vivacious, brilliant and absolutely charming' comedian Sir Ken Dodd, including from the Weymouth Pavilion, which in 2015 he presented with a prestigious award.

The much-loved star died on Sunday, aged 90, in the house where he was born. Over the course of a long career he gained immense popularity around the country, including in Weymouth, where he played to a sold-out Pavilion in April 2015.

"He was an absolutely charming man, both on and off the stage," said Pavilion events manager Julie Storey, whom Sir Ken presented with an award from Old Theatres magazine - of which he was a patron - before beginning his show.

"I was sad to hear the news - but what a brilliant life! I am very honoured to have met him," Julie said.

The award recognised Weymouth Pavilion's hard work and success in becoming a community venture two years previously. After presenting Julie with the award, Sir Ken went on to give a typically energetic performance.

"As was usual, he went on long beyond what you would have expected him to perform - I think four hours in total," Julie recalled. "His joke was that he hoped the audience had brought their sandwiches.

"We've lost one of the icons of British theatre and comedy. He proved that age is no barrier to performing."

During his visit in 2015, the comedian was full of praise for Weymouth, saying it felt ‘wonderful’ to be back in the resort performing at the Pavilion - which was, he noted, 'a beautiful theatre’.

“[Weymouth] is one of the last and one of the nicest English resorts – it’s beautiful,” he said.

Dorset Echo features writer Joanna Davis interviewed Sir Ken before his visit for the paper's entertainment section, The Guide, and recalled with affection a man she described as 'a comedy legend'.

"Ken was 87 at the time and still on the road," Joanna said. "He had a lot of praise for Weymouth, where he was headed on his tour.

"Vivacious, sharp and cracking jokes between each question I asked, Ken was still on top of his game. He had a disarming charm about him that made his humour work and he even got me laughing at his blonde jokes!"

Dorchester resident Bob Fox, a former entertainments manager at the Lewisham Concert Hall in London, recalled booking the comedian on several occasions between the early 1950s and 1980, when he retired.

"He was always a joy to work with," said Mr Fox. "I got to know him and his partner [Anne Jones] quite well over the period, and they were both just lovely people.

"He was the greatest performer on that I have ever seen - and I still treasure the tickling stick he gave me after his last performance at the Weymouth Pavilion."

Sir Ken was celebrated for his blend of music-hall, slapstick and stand-up, and was for decades an instantly recognisable figure, with his wild hair and patented tickling stick.

He performed a final show in his home town, Liverpool, at the end of last year; all dates scheduled for 2018 had to be cancelled as the comedian battled with a chest infection that left him hospitalised.

Sir Ken married his long-time partner and fellow performer Anne Jones just two days before his death. He was previously engaged to Anita Boutin, who died in 1977 aged 45.