Comedian Ken Dodd is to unveil a special plaque at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre in honour of a former Sefton Council employee.

The plaque is in memory of Phil King, Sefton’s former Chief Tourism and Attractions Officer, who sadly died in April, 2014.

Mr King, affectionately known as Mr Southport, worked tirelessly to put the resort on the map and worked for Sefton between 1977-98.

The plaque will be unveiled by close friend, Ken Dodd, on May 27 during a small private ceremony attended by Phil’s family and officials from Sefton Council at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.

Liverpool funnyman Ken Dodd said: “Phil King was absolutely Mr Southport.

“He loved the town and was totally dedicated to the promotion of everything good about Southport – especially the theatre.

“He had time for everybody and was a brilliant Director of Entertainment sharing his warm personality and abundant enthusiasm with everyone.

“To me personally he was also a very kind and dear friend over many years. I am honoured to be asked to unveil this permanent tribute to a great man.”

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Phil truly loved Southport and worked very hard to promote the resort over many decades as a real ambassador.

“His enthusiasm and reputation helped attract some of the biggest names in showbusiness to the Theatre, Floral Hall and across the resort during the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

“He made a real contribution to the success of Southport and the plaque unveiled by his close friend, Ken Dodd, will be a lasting memory to Phil’s endeavours.”

Phil’s daughter, Sarah Akehurst, added: “The plaque is a wonderful and thoughtful idea and I am sure Dad would be delighted as he was very passionate about Southport and, in particular, his role at the Southport Theatre and Floral Hall Complex.

“I would like to thank Sefton Council and Lisa Chu at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre for organising the special plaque and am particularly grateful to Ken Dodd for taking the time to come and unveil the tribute.”

Ken Dodd’s Happiness Show is on at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Saturday, May 30 and to book tickets call 01704 540454 or visit


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