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Stars and fans flock to Gorden Kaye's funeral to pay tribute to 'Allo Allo! legend

Mirror logo Mirror 17/02/2017 Halina Watts

Credits: Daily Mirror

Credits: Daily Mirror
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye has been laid to rest nearly a month after he died at the age of 75.

His cast mates joined his friends and family to say goodbye to the comic actor following his death in January from dementia.

They gathered together at St Peter's Church in Gorden's home town of Huddersfield for the simple service, which was conducted by Rev Canon Simon Moor.

His co-stars Vicki Michelle and Sue Hodge showed up to support Gorden, both wearing big winter coats to protect against the cold.

They said that Gorden's death is the "end of an era".

Earlier, the vicar had explained how the funeral would go , saying Yorkshire's unofficial anthem On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at would be played as Gorden's coffin was carried in to the church.

"His producer and friend Charles Garland will give the eulogy and another friend John Ratcliff will give the valediction," the Rev Canon added.

"St Peter's organist Stephen Smith will play Praise My Soul the King of Heaven and there will be Going Home from the Hovis advert and a medley of Gilbert and Sullivan songs.

"I will be looking at Gorden's early life, his love of Yorkshire and his character. It's hard to know quite how many people will attend. There will be around 30 members of his family."

The public celebration of Gorden's life and career is being followed by a private service for close friends and family at the local crematorium.

Last week, his Allo Allo! co-stars said the cast would turn out to send off their late friend.

Actress Vicki Michelle told the Sunday People : "We will give him a good farewell, he was such a great man and we will miss him dearly."

The star, who played Yvette Carte-Blanche alongside her late pal's character Rene Artois in the iconic sitcom, revealed that the TV veteran would not have wanted to be remembered as a "frail" man.

Gorden died last month aged 75 following a heart-breaking two-year battle with dementia.

Vicki said: "I tried to get in touch with him, but I heard he didn't want to see people. He was a proud man and he didn't want people to see him in that condition.

"He wanted people to remember him as he was and not a frail person in an old people's home. People didn't even know he was in a home. I didn't know."

She went on: "People who wanted to try and see him, they weren't told where the home was. He could have gone to one of the actors' homes, but maybe he chose to be where he wasn't known."

The pair starred opposite each other in the classic television show from 1982 to 1992 and both later reprised their roles for the touring stage show in 2008.

The series ran from 1982 to 1992 on BBC1. Kaye's last screen role was in a one-off return of 'Allo 'Allo! in 2007.

It was one of the show's recurring jokes that Yvette was one of several women having an affair with married Rene, who ran a cafe in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

Rene's best-known catchphrase — "You stupid woman" — was aimed at his wife, whenever she accused him of infidelity.

His other favourites included "Oh 'eck" and "You silly old bat" to his mother-in-law, Madame Fanny La Fan.

And while Vicki, 66, kept in touch with Gorden, they hadn't seen each other for several years.

She continued: "He was such a great guy, he was always making people laugh and the memories we shared are priceless.

"He was so entertaining and we had a lot of fun. That's how he would have wanted to be remembered. And that's how I want to remember him."

The BAFTA-nominated actor also appeared in Last of the Summer Wine, Are You Being Served?, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

His family have been busy planning the actor's funeral in his home town of Huddersfield, West Yorks.

Last week the husband of Gorden's cousin Sheila told of the actor's distressing decline when they visited him in a nursing home two weeks before his death.

Raymond Shuttleworth said: "He didn't recognise us any longer.

"He didn't even recognise himself. Gorden was sat up and talking but he didn't know us any more, he was saying all sorts of things but it didn't mean anything. He was in his own world."

They paid tribute to the nursing home in Knaresborough, North Yorks, saying: "He had amazing staff looking after him, they have been incredible."


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