TV and radio legend Sir Jimmy Savile was bid a fond and flamboyant farewell in Leeds yesterday, with hundreds flocking to pay their last respects to him.
Sir Jimmy, who was of course a flamboyant and larger-than-life character, had left specific instructions for his funeral, and from his gold coloured coffin to the celebrations of his life, they were carried out yesterday in style.
A cortège of vehicles – one bearing the gold coffin – first made its way slowly through Leeds city centre, so that fans of the star could bid him farewell, before arriving at St Anne’s Cathedral where two buglers sounded The Last Post.
The Rt Rev Monsignor Kieran Heskin, who was officiating at the service, told mourners that he hoped God would “fix it that Jimmy would be given the ultimate reward — a place in Heaven”.
He went on to say of Sir Jimmy – who raised around £40million for charity in his lifetime – “Sir Jimmy can face eternal life with confidence. His story was an epic of giving — giving of time, talent, treasure.”
A host of celebrity mourners joined the service, including boxer Frank Bruno, and DJs Mike Read and Andy Peebles.
Of Sir Jimmy, Read said, “He was a one-off, a unique character and a showman to the end — he would have loved all this today.”
And Peebles added, “He was the master of his craft. We shall never see his like again.”
Bee Gees brothers Barry and Robin Gibb sent flowers and a card, which read, “To our friend and supporter Jimmy Savile. Thank you for all you have done for the Bee Gees.”
But of course, hundreds of ordinary people turned out to say goodbye, including staff from Leeds General Infirmary and Stoke Mandeville hospital where Jimmy did a huge amount of charity work.
Also among those lining the streets was Lois Manning, who starred on Jim’ll Fix It when she was a youngster. She wore the legendary badge that read, ‘Jim Fixed It For Me’.
Sir Jimmy will be buried in Scarborough today.
Here are a couple of clips that followed the events yesterday…