George Cole's coffin arrives to Minder theme tune

The actor died in hospital last week

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The Independent Online

Friends and family have gathered for the funeral of actor George Cole, best-known for playing Arthur Daley in the television series Minder.

Cole, who died at the age of 90 on 5 August, starred in the programme from 1979 to 1994. His coffin was carried into the service at Reading Crematorium to its theme tune.

Friend Dennis Waterman, who also acted in Minder, delivered a eulogy at the service.

He said: “People are always asking me for anecdotes. Working with George was an anecdote. It was non-stop. We laughed all day long, every day.”

Waterman, 67, said Cole was the “most liked man in the entire profession”, PA reported.

“I was lucky enough to spend the Tuesday with [Cole] before he died. His wit hadn’t left him at all, most of his weight had but his wit was still there,” said Waterman.

Cole’s widow Penny read a line from the poem He Is Gone by David Harkin: “You can open your eyes and see all that he has left.” She jokingly added the line: “All those television repeats.”


During his career spanning seven decades, Cole, who grew up in south London, starred as Flash Harry in St Trinian’s and the 1959 comedy Too Many Crooks.

He died at the Royal Berkshire Hospital following a short illness, surrounded by his family.

Additional reporting by PA