Tributes paid to 'cracker' Carson
Frank Carson's home town has paid tribute to the comedian as fans of the veteran stand-up signed a book of condolence.
Friends of the 85-year-old funnyman, who died after a battle with stomach cancer, were among those who queued at Belfast City Hall to pen words of comfort for his family, with many signing off with Carson's trademark catchphrase: "It's a cracker!"
The books were opened as Carson's son Tony confirmed the much-loved comedian would be buried a week on Saturday back in Belfast - a city he left many years ago to live in Blackpool. He died in the Lancashire town surrounded by his loved ones.
"We have to take him home," his son said. "That's where he came from and that's where he gets the roots of his humour - that sort of Belfast dry wit, no respect for anything or everybody but respect at the same time. So we've got to take him back there and celebrate the great life that he had."
Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said Carson would be remembered with "special fondness". "A bit of colour has dropped out of everyone's life following the death of Frank Carson," they said in a joint statement. "But his laughter will echo around his native Belfast, and farther afield, for years to come."
Belfast Lord Mayor Niall O'Donnaghaile was the first to sign the book of condolence in City Hall.
Earlier, Tony Carson said his father was a child at heart who just wanted to "have fun and give fun".
"He was a good dad, right up to the end he was very good," he said. "He just had such a positive outlook on everything. There was definitely a child within and he just wanted to have fun and give fun to everybody."
Mr Carson told BBC Radio Ulster: "He also loved just to talk with people, you could always see a smile on his face. I think that's what kept him going so long, really - laughter is the best exercise for the heart, so they say. He certainly got some exercise for his."
Carson, who coined the catchphrase "It's the way I tell them", rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times. He went on to appear in The Comedians and Tiswas.