Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 15:58 UK

Brown joins Sir Clement mourners

Gordon Brown and Lord Steel
Gordon Brown spoke to the congregation and gave a reading

Gordon Brown joined mourners including Stephen Fry and Bono at the funeral of Sir Clement Freud in London.

The PM told the service at a church off Fleet Street that Sir Clement was "a national treasure" and "institution".

Sir Clement's son, PR executive Matthew Freud, spoke of his father's love of writing, food and gambling.

Former Liberal MP Sir Clement, who would have been celebrating his 85th birthday, died at his desk at his London home on 15 April.

Nicholas Parsons OBE on Sir Clement: 'An exceptional human being'

Sir Clement, the grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, is survived by his wife, actress Jill Freud, five children and 17 grandchildren.

Mr Brown, a former rector at the University of Edinburgh, told the congregation he first met Sir Clement in 1974 when his friend held the same position at Dundee University.

"Clement Freud had the greatest asset of all, a wonderful wife, Jill, and a wonderful family that have done so much for our national life," he said.

The prime minister also gave a reading from The Wedding at Cana.

Racing win

Matthew Freud told mourners his father had been a working journalist for 55 years.

"If words were his craft, then eating was his purpose - cooking and eating were in almost every article."

It was a vivid reminder of how the great Radio 4 programmes run deep in national life
Mark Damazer
BBC Radio 4 controller

He said his father had recently visited the races at Epsom, in Surrey.

"We are grateful to the honesty of the undertakers who returned the £2,000 found in his suit pocket," he said.

It was said of his father that he went out of his way "to find fools not to suffer", he added.

Sir Clement's wife, Lady Freud, read If I Should Die by Joyce Grenfell.

She said she had gone to a lot of trouble arranging a party for his 85th birthday.

"He would be amazed at how many of you have turned up and you are all welcome," she added.

Varied career

The choir sang Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', from musical Oklahoma - one of his song choices from his appearance on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in 1967 - and I've Got The Horse Right Here, from Guys and Dolls.

The congregation sang hymns including Amazing Grace and I Vow To Thee My Country.

Bono and wife Ali Hewson
U2 frontman Bono and wife Ali Hewson were among guests

Other guests included Richard Curtis, Lord Steel, Paul Merton and David Morrisey.

The young Clement Freud began his career in the hotel business before he began writing about food for newspapers and magazines in the 1950s.

He later diversified into a number of different subjects, including sport.

Fronting pet food commercials with Henry the dog, first broadcast in the 1960s, launched his career as a TV and radio personality.

His political career began in 1973, when he won the Isle of Ely constituency for the Liberal Party, before he transferred to the North East Cambridgeshire.

Sir Clement, who was knighted in 1987, worked for a string of national newspapers.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
In Pictures: Funeral for Freud
24 Apr 09 |  UK
Stars pay tribute to Sir Clement
16 Apr 09 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Sir Clement Freud
16 Apr 09 |  Entertainment
Freud was 'immensely charming'
16 Apr 09 |  Entertainment
Freud named as St Andrews rector
26 Oct 02 |  Scotland

RELATED BBC LINKS



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific