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Funeral service for Denise Robertson

BBC News BBC News 13/04/2016

Family, friends and fellow TV presenters have bid farewell to agony aunt Denise Robertson.

Ms Robertson, from Sunderland, who died aged 83 from pancreatic cancer on 31 March, had been with ITV's This Morning since it began in 1988.

Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, and Eamonn Holmes were among those at the funeral at Sunderland Minster.

Applause broke out in the street outside as the coffin was driven away afterwards for a private burial.

Before the funeral, Phillip Schofield said: "This Morning is such a family show and she was the matriarch.

"It doesn't quite feel real. All of us need to be here to say goodbye today because she still feels very much part of the show."

Ms Robertson was patron to dozens of good causes, an MBE and honorary deputy lieutenant of Durham.

Her son, Mark, spoke of her charity work and how she was known in her local Asda as "that lass off the telly".

He said: "When mum took on her role at ITV it was on strict understanding that they would help every correspondent, not just those who made it to air.

"And ITV were good to their word."

Eamonn Holmes described her as a "national treasure".

He said: "Never was there a more shrewd judge of character.

"She could spot a fake at a hundred paces but once you were in as a graduate of the Robertson Academy of Life then you had a mum, an aunt, a best friend, a shoulder to cry on and a friend for life."

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