An up-and-coming Rushden comedian has set a world first - by completing work experience with legend Sir Ken Dodd OBE.
Rushden Academy sixth form pupil Joe Brady first met the comedian four years ago when he went to watch him perform and then managed to speak with him after the show, a conversation which lasted for hours.
They stayed in touch ever since and to celebrate Joe’s 18th birthday, Sir Ken gave the youngster the unique gift of being the only person ever to have a work placement with him at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool.
Joe said: “Blackpool is the best place on the planet and I got to perform alongside my hero.
“The audience was so happy that I didn’t get nervous and it seemed as if they were all friends.
“I felt they appreciated the fact that I am a new young comedian on the scene who doesn’t swear and isn’t rude, offensive or derogatory.
“Although Ken is 90-years-old, once he gets on stage it’s like he is 20 again and his singing voice is amazing.
“He is completely mad and doesn’t stop talking.
“I’ve watched so many comedians perform live but no one else can touch him, he is in a league all of his own.”
On arrival, Joe stood on the stage and watched in awe as the curtain rose to reveal the theatre in its full glory.
As part of the placement, Joe was in the spotlight for 10 minutes during one of Sir Ken’s shows, where he performed various solo sketches and routines.
At the end of his spot, Sir Ken joined him on stage where they sang a duet of ‘Happiness’ followed by an impromptu comedy routine involving audience participation.
Sir Ken Dodd said: “I want to wish Joe a very happy 18th birthday.
“I am a huge fan of his work and I have no doubt that he will be a future star.”
After his A-levels, Joe is planning to either go to university or drama school or go on tour across the country with his stand-up comedy show.