Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 19:19 UK

Funeral for hanged TV presenter

The coffin being carried into the church
Hundreds of people gathered at St Michael and All Angels' Church

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of TV presenter Mark Speight, who was found hanged in central London.

The 42-year-old was said to have been devastated by the death of his fiancee.

The funeral service was held in Wolverhampton, where Mr Speight was raised and educated. His father Oliver paid tribute to his son in the eulogy.

The coffin was carried out of St Michael and All Angels' Church, Tettenhall, to the theme tune of SMart, the children's arts show he presented.

Friends and family gathered for the service before attending a private cremation in the city.

Fiancee's death

They were joined by several of Mr Speight's colleagues from the television industry, including Timmy Mallett and Mr Speight's co-presenter on SMart, Kirsten O'Brien.

The choir from Mr Speight's old school, Tettenhall College, sang at the service.

Mr Speight's father said his son had always had a special talent for making people laugh and smile.

He said the television presenter was a Pied Piper figure who took youngsters on a "magical mystery tour" of art.

Mark Speight
Mark Speight was described as a Pied Piper figure

His father said the family had been moved by the number of emails the BBC had received from children expressing sympathy at the death.

"You leave here with the adoration of those 7,000 children that emailed the BBC and who miss you today - sleep well in eternity, you have earned your rest," he said.

The vicar of St Michael and All Angels', Rev Margaret Mattocks, said Mr Speight's death had been tragic, adding that no amount of tears were enough to express the pain felt by those who knew him.

A suicide note was found on Mr Speight's body when it was discovered on the roof of a building next to Paddington Station on 13 April.

A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death was hanging and police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

A full inquest will open in May.

Mr Speight's 31-year-old partner Natasha Collins died at the flat they shared in St John's Wood, north-west London, in January.

She had taken cocaine, sleeping tablets and alcohol and was found with 60% burns from hot water in a bath.

Mr Speight was arrested on suspicion of murder and supplying Class A drugs, but no charges were brought.

He left his presenting job with the BBC in February.




SEE ALSO
TV presenter left suicide notes
16 Apr 08 |  London
Obituary: Mark Speight
14 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
TV host Mark Speight 'found dead'
13 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Fiancee death presenter missing
08 Apr 08 |  London
Actress died after taking drugs
02 Apr 08 |  London

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