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BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay reports
"Jimmy Logan didn't want his funeral to be sombre"
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Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Farewell tributes to entertainer Logan
Jimmy Logan's coffin
Jimmy Logan's coffin is carried out of Glasgow Cathedral
The funeral of veteran Scottish entertainer Jimmy Logan has taken place at Glasgow Cathedral.

The all-round entertainer, actor and producer died on Friday at the age of 73.

He had been suffering from cancer of the oesophagus.

Comedian Billy Connolly led the tributes to the entertainment legend, bringing laughter from the mourners in the process.

Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly paid tribute to his hero
He told how he had decided to become a comic after his aunt took him to see Mr Logan at the age of 12.

"It was like a blinding flash on the road to Damascus, it was so profound," he said.

He told how he had been left helpless with laughter as he listened and watched Mr Logan.

However, he was later sacked from a theatre job by his hero after he played a trick on another entertainer by tying a toy snake to a microphone.

"I had gone over the score and Jimmy was sent for. He said, 'Come here I'll give you another laugh - you're out of here'," Mr Connolly told the congregation.

Jimmy had much more talent and was 20 times more versatile than Harry Lauder

Tom Fleming
He said that he grew to love Mr Logan "like a brother, a relative" and said he had shown "the most colossal strength I had ever seen".

He said Mr Logan was "a man of immense strength, admirable and a man I am proud to say was a friend of mine".

Mr Logan, whose real name was James Short, was part of the Short entertainment dynasty that began with his parents, who were music hall stars.

His sister Heather - one of his four siblings, all of whom became entertainers - gave a family tribute at the funeral.

She spoke of the fun the family had during their years on stage together.

She said: "We were so busy getting on with it we didn't realise how great those times were but when you look back you have wonderful, wonderful memories."

Jimmy Logan
Jimmy Logan starred on stage, screen and radio
The Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, Sir John Orr, and actor Tom Fleming also delivered tributes at the service.

Mr Fleming told mourners that when Mr Logan had heart bypass surgery in 1993, he said that if anything went wrong he wanted his funeral to be in Glasgow Cathedral and his coffin draped with the flag of Scotland.

"Bit theatrical, but that's the way I am," he had explained.

Mr Fleming said Mr Logan's hero was the Scottish entertainer Sir Harry Lauder.

"I happen to think Jimmy had much more talent and was 20 times more versatile than Harry Lauder," he said.

The service was conducted by Mr Logan's cousin, the Very Reverend Lawrence Twaddle.

The funeral was followed by a private service at Clydebank Crematorium.

'Wonderful man'

Crowds began arriving at Glasgow Cathedral a full hour before the funeral was due to begin.

Those in attendance also included Jonathan Watson of the BBC's Only an Excuse, comedian Rikki Fulton and veteran showbiz duo Fran and Anna.

"He was a wonderful man, a fighter and a hard worker," said the duo.

"It's a very sad time. He will be really missed. We can't believe we have no Jimmy Logan."

Many ordinary fans also turned out to say their goodbyes to Mr Logan.

Jimmy Logan
Mr Logan made two Carry On films
They included Rachel Whitehead from Glasgow, who said she wanted to pay her respects to "a lovable, good man".

"I loved his shows and I loved him, it's heartbreaking," she said.

Mr Logan died at the HCI medical centre in Clydebank in the early hours of Friday.

During his 65 years in showbusiness, he was a theatre owner, producer, director and actor-manager.

Mr Logan appeared in two Carry On films, made 150 radio programmes with Stanley Baxter and appeared at the London Palladium before starting his own production company.

One of his most famous performances was in Lauder, his one-man musical which he wrote, based on the life of Sir Harry.

Mr Logan was honoured with an OBE at Buckingham Palace in 1996.

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See also:

13 Apr 01 | Scotland
Jimmy Logan: A great entertainer
13 Apr 01 | Scotland
Tributes to Scottish legend Logan
21 Feb 01 | Scotland
Proms prompt Lauder revival
01 Feb 01 | Scotland
Death of veteran comedian
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