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Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 03:27 GMT 04:27 UK


Friends to celebrate Dando's life

In memoriam: Jill Dando, 1961-99

A service of thanksgiving for the life and work of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando is to be held in central London on Tuesday.

Jill Dando 1961 - 1999
The service will take place at All Souls' Church in Langham Place, next to BBC Broadcasting House, at 1400 BST.

Miss Dando's fiance, Alan Farthing, her father Jack and her brother Nigel will lead a congregation of 700 family members, friends and colleagues from all avenues of her life, including the media and charities.

The BBC's Peter Hunt: "Sir Cliff Richard will sing"
Admission to the service will be by ticket only, however, because of a lack of room in the church.

The service will be led by Richard Bewes, rector of All Souls, assisted by the Reverend Ernest Rea, Head of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC.

The address will be given by Sir John Birt, director-general of the BBC. Paying tribute to Miss Dando and giving the readings will be Sir Paul Condon, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond, and ITV Sport presenter Bob Wilson.

Sir Cliff Richard will also pay tribute before singing the song This Love. The hymns will be How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace and Now Thank We All Our God.

The congregation will receive a specially compiled book of tributes to Jill as they arrive. The public will be able to view the tributes on BBC News Online.

'A celebration'

Alan Farthing said: "Jill inspired millions with her beautiful smile and vivacious personality. We miss her desperately but today is the opportunity to give thanks for her life and all she achieved.

"Many of us were privileged to know her while many more felt she was a friend. She deserves our gratitude and admiration."

Richard Bewes said: "While Jill's service will be taking place against the background of an unsolved murder, this celebration will be telling the world that her vitality and faith in God are going to have the last word."

All Souls Church, designed by John Nash, has a long connection with the BBC, and was the home of BBC Radio 4's Daily Service from 1951-94.

Miss Dando was murdered by a gunman at her home on 26 April.

Despite extensive appeals and a huge investigation, the police are struggling to find a motive for the killing.

The police still want to hear from anyone who might have information. Members of the public can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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