Belfast Telegraph

Lynda Bellingham laid to rest amid tears and stories

By Rod Minchin and Claire Hayhurst

Friends, family and showbiz stars paid tearful tributes to actress Lynda Bellingham as they said farewell to an "extraordinary force of nature".

They reminisced with jokes, verse and anecdotes as they fondly recalled the 66-year-old, with her "honking laughter", who died just over a fortnight ago after she made the decision to end treatment for her cancer.

Bellingham had asked for a lively send-off so her husband Michael Pattemore lined up a string of guests who made her funeral into a variety show-style celebration of her life.

They gathered at St Bartholomew's Church in Crewkerne, Somerset, to mourn the actress who was loved by generations for her roles in shows such as Faith In The Future and All Creatures Great And Small.

Old friend Christopher Biggins attended wearing a vivid pink suit which he said would have cheered her and "put a smile on her face".

Bellingham had colon cancer which later spread to her lungs and liver.

She was diagnosed last July, but in September she disclosed she had decided to end her treatment.

Bellingham's widower - her third husband - helped carry her coffin, along with her sons Michael (31) and Robert (26).

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