Crowds celebrate Sir Jimmy Savile's life

 

Sir Jimmy Savile "brought a little bit of magic and sparkle to everybody that he met", mourners at his funeral service were told today.

TV and radio colleagues joined Sir Jimmy's family and friends in St Anne's Cathedral, Leeds, for a Requiem Mass as thousands of well-wishers watched outside on big screens.

Addressing the packed church, the Rt Rev Monsignor Kieran Heskin said: "Sir Jimmy Savile can face eternal life with confidence.

"His life story was an epic of giving - giving of time, giving of talent, giving of treasure."

Alison Graham, of Stoke Mandeville Hospital for which Sir Jimmy helped to raise millions of pounds, said: "He brought a little bit of magic and sparkle to everybody he met."

Sir Jimmy's gold-coloured coffin was carried into the packed cathedral by a detachment of Royal Marines commandos after the cortege toured his home city.

After leaving The Queens Hotel, where around 5,000 people turned out yesterday to pay their respects at his casket, the procession stopped at the former home of his beloved mother, Agnes, and at Leeds General Infirmary where hospital staff lined the street along with members of the public.

Thousands of people packed both sides of Cookridge Street behind barriers as the cortege approached the cathedral and broke into spontaneous applause as the cars pulled up. Calls of "Jimmy" rang out through the crowd as the pall bearers approached the steps.

Inside, the Right Rev Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds, said: "Today Jimmy lies at the front of this cathedral where, in former years, he had remained discreetly hidden at the back in order not to disturb people's prayers or distract their attention from what was taking place at the altar.

"This afternoon, he occupies the first place always in our thoughts, affections and prayers."

One of the eulogies was given by Professor Alistair Hall - a cardiologist who became Sir Jimmy's friend.

Prof Hall announced a new hospital institute devoted to helping heart patients will be created using a bequest from Sir Jimmy's will.

He said: "He had done it all, seen it all, got it all and, if I may add, given it all."

Nephew Roger Foster told the congregation Sir Jimmy was "my friend, my mentor, my uncle".

As the coffin left the cathedral, a bugler played the Last Post.

Boxer Frank Bruno chatted to the public as they thronged outside the steps.

"He was very special man," he said.

Among the other guests were many of the DJs Sir Jimmy worked with in his long career.

Mike 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 and showed off a Union flag card signed by the Bee Gees. The band had also sent flowers.

Tony 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."

Prince added: "He lived his life with his tongue in his cheek.

"If there's a heaven, he'll be laughing now if he's got time. Because if there is a heaven, he'll be introducing Elvis on the clouds."

One wreath in a second hearse which just carried flowers spelt out the number 208 in yellow and white flowers - the frequency for Radio Luxembourg, where Sir Jimmy once worked.

Hospital porter Walter Jackson, who has worked at Leeds General Infirmary for 19 years, paid tribute outside the hospital where Sir Jimmy volunteered as a porter and for which he raised millions of pounds.

Mr Jackson said: "He used to walk about and talk to everybody.

"He'd talk to anybody, it didn't matter who it was.

"If someone was crying, he would go over.

"You can't buy that."

Sir Jimmy will be buried tomorrow following more public ceremonials in Scarborough, the North Yorkshire 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.

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

Sir Jimmy, 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 the tributes to him.

Sir Jimmy started working life as a miner before running a series of clubs and working as a wrestler and then a DJ.

He raised millions for charity and ran more than 200 marathons in support of good causes.

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering