Pop star's wife died in fall from bridge

THE SINGER Georgie Fame yesterday led mourners at the funeral of his wife, who died after falling 250ft from a bridge.

Nicolette Powell, 52, a former debutante, was seen to fall from the central span of the suspension bridge over the Avon Gorge at Clifton, Bristol, on 13 August, Avon and Somerset Police said. The bridge is a well-known suicide spot.

Fame, 50, who was born Clive Powell and had a string of rhythm and blues hits in the Sixties and Seventies, spoke in June of his love for his wife.

He said they had stayed happily married because of her 'charm, beauty, forbearance and understanding'.

A small group of family mourners attended a brief service yesterday in the parish church of St Andrew's in the village of Stoke Trister, near Wincanton, Somerset,followed by a private cremation ceremony in Salisbury. An inquest was opened last week by the Bristol coroner and adjourned to a date to be fixed.

Fame said in a statement issued through his solicitors: 'Nicolette Elaine Katherine Powell was cremated today at Salisbury and the family would very much appreciate it if their privacy was respected at this difficult time.'

Ms Powell, the daughter of a wealthy stockbroker, was one of the last debutantes to be presented to the Queen. She and Fame married in 1972 after the singer was cited for adultery in a notorious divorce case involving Ms Powell and her first husband the Marquis of Londonderry, whom she married at 17.

Fame is the only British star to have scored three number one hits with his only Top 10 chart entries - 'Yeh Yeh' in 1964, 'Get Away' in 1966 and 'Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde' in 1967.