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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 19:30 GMT
Final tributes to funnyman Fulton
Rikki Fulton
Rikki Fulton will be remembered for his comic role as Rev IM Jolly
Hundreds of mourners have paid their final respects to Scottish comedy legend Rikki Fulton.

The 79-year-old, who was renowned for his television and stage performances, died at a Glasgow nursing home last Tuesday.

In a tribute to one of his most famous characters, Super Cop, police motorcyclists escorted the funeral cortege to Clydebank Crematorium.

Family, friends and fans gathered to say their farewells.

Colleagues from the world of showbusiness also travelled with the cortege from the west end of Glasgow to the crematorium to remember the actor and comedian.

Fulton, who was best known for his character the Reverend IM Jolly and for being one half of the comic double act Francie and Josie, had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for two years.

'Favourite comic actor'

The star's wife, Kate, led mourners who included comedians Dorothy Paul, Gregor Fisher and Jonathan Watson.

Leading the tributes, actor Tony Roper said: "I have had this mental image that if we could see inside the coffin, Rikki would be lying there with the most enormous grin on his face.

"For he had twice as many teeth as anybody else on the planet."

I just hope God has the bottle to answer the questions I faced for years
Rev Alastair Symington
Mr Roper said Fulton was "probably everybody in Scotland's favourite comic actor".

He painted a picture of a man with different public and private personas, describing the comedian as a an intellectual who took great pleasure in reading, writing poetry, and painting.

Concluding his eulogy, he said: "We are not here to mourn but to celebrate a wonderful life.

"A life lived to the brim by a man blessed with talents.

"He gave so much and he made us laugh so much."

'Lively discussions'

The Rev Alastair Symington, who led the service, said that despite the success Fulton enjoyed during his career, he described his greatest achievement as marrying Kate, "his one true love".

To laughter, he said Fulton had joked that his headstone would feature the words "here lies Rikki Fulton. Oh so it is".

Rev Symington said the phrase "oh so it is" was often heard by Fulton as he was recognised by fans in Glasgow.

Jack Milroy and Rikki Fulton
Rikki (right) was one half of duo Francie and Josie
The minister, who was a close friend of the comedian, said that they had enjoyed many lively discussions.

He joked: "I just hope God has the bottle to answer the questions I faced for years."

The 40-minute service opened with the hymn Oh Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go and ended with Thine Be The Glory, Risen Conquering Son.

It also featured a rendition of Robert Burns' Ae Fond Kiss by Scottish singer Alasdair Gilles.

A tannoy system relayed the service to the large number of fans who attended.

One said Scotland would be a greyer place without him.

Others just wanted to fondly remember the man who made the IM Jolly character a Hogmanay institution.


SEE ALSO:
In pictures: Rikki Fulton's funeral
03 Feb 04  |  Photo Gallery
Comic legend Rikki Fulton dies
28 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Rikki tells of brain disease
21 Feb 03  |  Scotland
Hope on nerve diseases
31 Jan 03  |  Health
Alzheimer's disease
20 Dec 00  |  Medical notes


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