Sunday 17 December 2017

Stars join fans to say farewell to Jimmy Savile

VETERAN DJs and TV stars are expected to join the friends and family of Sir Jimmy Savile along with hundreds of his fans for the broadcasting legend's funeral today.

Representatives of the charities Jimmy Savile raised millions of pounds for will also join well-wishers at the Roman Catholic St Anne's Cathedral, in his home city of Leeds, for a Requiem Mass.

Three days of mourning and celebrations of the life of the larger-than-life character kicked off yesterday when around 5,000 people queued in the rain outside The Queens Hotel, in the city, to view his gold-coloured coffin.

Today, his cortege will drive around some of his favourite places before arriving at the cathedral for the service, which will be led by the Rt Rev Arthur Roche, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds.

The procession will visit his mother's house and the Leeds General Infirmary.

The Mass will include a series of eulogies to Savile, who died last month at the age of 84.

One will be from Professor Alistair Hall, a cardiologist at Leeds General Infirmary who became his friend.

Tributes from his best friend Howard Silverman and nephew Roger Foster will also be among the eulogies.

Savile will be buried tomorrow following more public ceremonials in Scarborough, the seaside town he loved and where he had a home.

According to his last wishes, he will be buried at a 45-degree angle overlooking the sea.

Yesterday, Jimmy Savile was described as "a showman right till the end" as his coffin was displayed at The Queens.

Pictures of Savile were displayed in the room and the last cigar he ever smoked was placed in an ashtray on a table in front of the casket.

Also on the table were his two This Is Your Life books.

He will be buried with a Royal Marines medal and green beret and a Help for Heroes wristband. He will be wearing his own clothes.

Funeral director Robert Morphet, of Joseph A Hey & Son Ltd, said he had never been asked to organise a three-day funeral and staff had been working 12 to 14-hour days to accommodate the broadcaster's wishes.

Savile, who presented the first episode of Top Of The Pops, was found dead at his flat in Roundhay, Leeds, just two days before his 85th birthday.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall led tributes to the star.

Savile started working life as a miner before running a series of clubs and working as a wrestler and DJ.

He raised millions for charity and for many years was a regular marathon runner in support of good causes.

Charities including the Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust and the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust will be represented at the Mass.

Press Association

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