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Friday, March 26, 1999 Published at 16:21 GMT


Simple farewell for Emu star

Over 200 mourners attended Rod Hull's funeral service

Friends and relatives of entertainer Rod Hull have paid tribute to him at a low-key funeral service in Surrey.

The 63-year-old performer, known to a generation of children for his partnership with wayward puppet Emu, died last week after falling from the roof of his home in Winchlesea, near Rye, East Sussex, while trying to adjust his television aerial.

Over 200 mourners attended the service, at St Paul's Church in East Molesey, Surrey, to hear friends and family pay tribute to him.

His closest friend, Bill Wallace, told the congregation: "Rod would have summed up the tragedy, 'I should have known better than to climb up there in the first place - even emus can't fly.'"

Hull had been adjusting his aerial so he could watch the Manchester United-Inter Milan football match on 17 March.

'He had a splendid heart'

[ image: Preparing for pantomime last year]
Preparing for pantomime last year
But Mr Wallace was the only speaker to remember the bird which made Rod Hull a household name.

"With that uncontrollable Emu, he brought a smile to millions of children.

"He'll be smoking his pipe and thinking, 'Well, I've certainly packed them in for a full house today.'

"I only hope that pipe smoking is allowed in heaven because if it's banned I'm sure he'll change the rules up there."

Hull's sister Joan said: "Rod's was a splendid heart. Who could make me laugh like that? Nobody else.

"He wouldn't want any of us to mourn for too long, he'd far rather we celebrated his life."

She spoke of her brother's fondness for his native England, which he left for many years to live and work in Australia.

She told mourners to "raise a glass in remembrance each St George's Day".

Broadcaster Timmy Mallet said: "It was a real privilege to work with him. I found myself watching, listening and learning."

Among relatives at the church were his first wife Sandra and their children Debbie and Danielle. His second wife Cher, his stepdaughter Karina and children Amelia, Oliver and Toby were also there.

A private burial followed the service.

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