Crowds in Leeds Celebrate Sir Jimmy's Life

9 November 2011, 17:54

Celebrities arriving at the Leeds funeral of broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile have said the event should be a "celebration'' of his life.

Among those arriving early for the 2pm funeral at the Roman Catholic St Anne's Cathedral in Leeds were DJs Mike Read and Tony Prince.

Crowds outside the nearby Queens Hotel were in a solemn mood as they lined the streets waiting for the funeral cortege of two hearses and seven cars to set off on a tour of the city.

Speaking outside the cathedral, Read said: "Today should be a celebration. He'd have loved it, a showman to the end.

"You don't want it to happen but if it's inevitable, the bigger the crowd the better. It's extraordinary. I think it's a celebration rather than anything else.''

Read delighted onlookers with some impressions of Sir Jimmy. He said: "He made people feel good.''

The veteran DJ brought a Union flag card signed by the Bee Gees. The band had also sent flowers. Paying tribute to Sir Jimmy, Prince, 66, said: "He was my mentor. He was the mentor for DJs in Europe. He was unique throughout his life and he's a testament to kindness and goodness and being a damned good DJ.''

Outside the Queens Hotel, where around 5,000 people visited Sir Jimmy's gold-coloured coffin to pay their respects on Tuesday, members of the public silently lined the street.

Two hearses were parked outside the hotel, one full of flowers from mourners. One wreath spelt out the numbers 208 in yellow and white flowers - the frequency for Radio Luxembourg, where Sir Jimmy once worked.

The hearses were joined by two funeral cars and five black Jaguars with blacked-out rear windows. The cortege was leaving the Queens and driving past Sir Jimmy's childhood home and Leeds General Infirmary before arriving at the cathedral.

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