Ken Dodd has beaten fellow comics Jasper Carrott, Lenny Henry, Nicholas Parsons, Jennifer Saunders and Victoria Wood to be crowned Legend of Comedy.
The comic was awarded the title as part of an event marking the success of this year’s Leicester Comedy Festival.
Audiences at the festival and readers of the Leicester Mercury were invited to vote for their favourite comic from a shortlist, which Dodd described as comprising “fabulous funny people and good friends”.
Geoff Rowe, founder and director of the festival, said: “It’s great to have an opportunity to recognise the enormous contribution Ken Dodd has made to the UK comedy scene over the past 60 years.”
Last year’s competition – won by Norman Wisdom – was restricted to comedians who had performed at the festival.
However, this year organisers marked its 21st anniversary by opening up the prize to any comedian, living or dead.
The festival finished on February 23 and will return in 2015.