'Ray of sunshine; Carson remembered
Popular comedian Frank Carson was still making his fans laugh even at his funeral.
As his coffin was carried from a church in Belfast, his famous gag - a song called "It's a Cracker" that he recorded with children - was played over a public address system to crowds of well-wishers lining the streets outside and many more watching on television.
Carson was hailed in the city where he grew up as "a ray of sunshine" and the "people's man".
Well-wishers watched as the comic's coffin was taken on an hour-long tour of the city in which he grew up, with the recording of him in full flow producing fond mirth and applause.
Carson, who died last month aged 85 at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire, had been ill for some time. He was a regular on Irish and British TV during his career.
Broadcaster Eamonn Holmes, comedians Lenny Henry, Stan Boardman and Roy Walker, sportsmen Dennis Taylor, Barry McGuigan and Pat Jennings and singer Dana were among those attending funeral mass for the man who coined the catchphrases "It's a Cracker" and "It's the way I tell 'em", and a string of jokes.
Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness was also present, as well as other political representatives, and carried the coffin.
A ripple of applause went through the crowd when the cortege from St Patrick's Catholic church stopped for a tribute from the Anglican dean of St Anne's Cathedral the Rev John Mann in a symbol of Carson's commitment to cross-community relations in Northern Ireland.
Requiem mass was led by retired Bishop of Derry, Bishop Edward Daly, who said: "Frank made millions of people smile and laugh. He brightened up their lives. He was a prime minister of fun. That was his mission in life."
His family said: "He was a kind man, a people's man and always had time for everyone, none more so than his family."