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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Stars attend Mike Reid's funeral
June Brown and Barbara Windsor
June Brown and Barbara Windsor were among the mourners
Famous names from showbusiness have attended the funeral of actor and comedian Mike Reid in Essex.

The 67-year-old star, who was best known for playing Frank Butcher in the BBC soap EastEnders, suffered a heart attack on 29 July.

Co-stars from the show attending the service included Pam St Clement, June Brown and Barbara Windsor.

Speaking to people gathered outside the church, Windsor said: "He was a great man, he made me laugh."

Comedian Frank Carson said: "He was one of my great friends. All of showbusiness will miss him but, thanks to television, he'll never disappear."

Pallbearers carrying Mike Reid
The funeral took place at Little Easton Parish Church in Essex

Sid Owen, who played Frank's son Ricky in EastEnders said he would "always remember" the late actor.

Comedian Russ Abbot, football agent Eric Hall and boxer Henry Cooper also attended.

'Charismatic'

Reid's agent, David Hahn, said the star would have made light of the rainy conditions outside the service.

"Knowing Reidy he would have wanted it to be upbeat and, with the weather the way it is today, he'd be laughing at us."

During the service, Reid's step-son Jimmy called him "a charismatic man and a gentleman to the end".

Shirley Reid
Shirley Reid was comforted by family members

"He came into my life when I was just eight years of age and my sister was two," he added.

"Up until then life had not been kind to our family but once he arrived everything changed for the better. When I look back at this time, fun was relentless."

He recalled how Reid would play games with him when he was young and was always there for him.

"He was a big man. Big in stature, big in presence, big in everything.

"When he walked into a room, even before he was famous, people noticed him because of the aura surrounding him.

Pat St Clement
Reid's on-screen wife, Pam St Clement, attended the service

"He will be sadly missed by many, but to our family, and especially to our mother Shirley, his loss is almost too much to bear," he added.

Reid's coffin was taken into the church as his hit single, The Ugly Duckling, played.

The coffin was followed by Reid's widow, Shirley, who was comforted by family members.

Frank Sinatra's My Way was among other songs to be played to the congregation.

The funeral took place at Little Easton Parish Church in Essex. Reid had lived in nearby Great Easton.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Tributes to Mike Reid



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