Everett tributes in best possible taste

Celebrities joined family and friends at a traditional funeral for the zany DJ
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The Independent Online
Stars of television and radio, many struggling to hold back tears, turned out in force yesterday to pay their last respects to the "irreplaceable" Kenny Everett.

Among the mourners were Terry Wogan, who looked visibly moved as he said: "It's a happy ending - I just give thanks for his life and I'm sure he will be happy in the next life."

Zany star Everett, 50, died last Tuesday, from an Aids-related illness.

Another former Radio 1 colleague, Alan "Fluff" Freeman, said: "It was one of the most beautiful services I have ever been to. I am sure that Kenny, from afar, appreciated it greatly. And I am sure that had he been alive he would have said something very funny about it all, as beautiful as it was."

Chris Tarrant, Mike Read, Paul Gambaccini and Tony Blackburn joined members of Everett's family, including his ex-wife Lee, for the ceremony in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Mayfair, west London.

Everett's elderly parents, Thomas and Elizabeth, who live in Perth, Western Australia, were unable to attend. But his sister, Kate Horgan, who made the journey from Australia to nurse him in his last weeks, was there, along with her husband Conor and daughter Joanna, who recited bidding prayers.

It was an ultra-traditional funeral service, with a full requiem mass, for one of showbusiness's least traditional stars who turned his back on television fame with his Kenny Everett Video Show to present a show on London oldies radio station Capital Gold.

But Everett had been consoled by his Catholic faith in his final weeks and had approached death with integrity and courage, said the Rev William Hofton, who conducted the ceremony. Mr Hofton told the congregation: "I rely on the fact God has the most wonderful sense of humour. Anyone who gets given the gift of laughter and humour will be a very welcome guest in heaven."

He also described how he imagined Everett whispering his life story in God's ear and bringing "a wonderful smile" to his face.

The radio star's coffin was carried into the church covered in yellow flowers.

Other friends who attended the funeral, which was followed by a cremation, included the actress Patricia Hayes, comedian Christopher Biggins and hypnotist Paul McKenna.