Les Dawson’s friends and family are battling to win him a posthumous OBE.

And one of the comedian’s biggest fans, Benidorm star Johnny Vegas, is behind a Facebook campaign after it emerged Les was twice shortlisted for an honour but rejected.

He is rumoured to have been overlooked in 1987 because eyebrows were raised when he started dating second wife Tracy, 18 years his junior, only a year after his first wife Meg had died of cancer.

He was on the shortlist again in 1989 but was rejected – despite being the first celebrity to raise £1million for charity, with cash going to hospices and schools for the disabled among other good causes.

Les died aged 62 in 1993. Tracy, now 63, told the Mirror: “He was judged on his relationship with me, but look at some who got those honours – they turned out to be criminals and abusers.

“Les is one of the few showmen from that era never implicated in the Jimmy Savile investigation.”

Ironically Savile was knighted a year after Les’s last rejection.

Hundreds have joined the online campaign to have the comedian honoured for his services to ­entertainment and charity.

Tracy added: “Les was a good man and it is beyond me how this hasn’t been recognised. He used to tell me he thought he would be honoured for his work long after he was dead. Now is the time to do it.”