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Family and friends raise a glass and say fond farewell to Give My Head Peace star BJ Hogg

Funeral of actor BJ Hogg takes place in Lisburn [photos] Close

Actors Paddy Jenkins and Damon Quinn join family and friends to raise a toast outside Roselawn Cemetery in Belfast as the hearse arrives during the funeral of actor BJ Hogg.

Actors Paddy Jenkins and Damon Quinn join family and friends to raise a toast outside Roselawn Cemetery in Belfast as the hearse arrives during the funeral of actor BJ Hogg.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Actors Paddy Jenkins and Damon Quinn join family and friends to raise a toast outside Roselawn Cemetery in Belfast as the hearse arrives during the funeral of actor BJ Hogg.

Actors Paddy Jenkins and Damon Quinn join family and friends to raise a toast outside Roselawn Cemetery in Belfast as the hearse arrives during the funeral of actor BJ Hogg.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Hole in the Wall  fans pictured paying tribute outside the former home of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim.

Hole in the Wall fans pictured paying tribute outside the former home of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Hole in the Wall Gang fans pictured paying tribute outside the former home of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim.

Hole in the Wall Gang fans pictured paying tribute outside the former home of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Hole in the Wall gang fans pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Hole in the Wall gang fans pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends including Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends including Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends including Michael McDowell and Damon Quinn pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends including Michael McDowell and Damon Quinn pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends including actress Alexandra Ford pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends including actress Alexandra Ford pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends including Michael McDowell and Damon Quinn pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends including Michael McDowell and Damon Quinn pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr Hogg’s wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr Hogg’s wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends including actor Dan Gordon pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends including actor Dan Gordon pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends including actor Tim McGarry pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends including actor Tim McGarry pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 -  

Family and friends including actor Tim McGarry pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor.

Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2020 - Family and friends including actor Tim McGarry pictured at the funeral of actor BJ Hogg in Lisburn, County Antrim. He was best known as Big Mervyn in the BBC series Give My Head Peace, but BJ Hogg was also a hugely versatile TV, stage and screen actor. Mr HoggÕs wife Elish McDonnell Hogg, son Nathan and daughter Abigail joined other family and friends. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Actor Damon Quinn (left) who played Cal in Give my head peace as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Actor Damon Quinn (left) who played Cal in Give my head peace as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Actor Marty Maguire as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Actor Marty Maguire as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Actor Damon Quinn who played Cal in Give my head peace raises a glass as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Actor Damon Quinn who played Cal in Give my head peace raises a glass as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Actor Damon Quinn who played Cal in Give my head peace raises a glass as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Actor Damon Quinn who played Cal in Give my head peace raises a glass as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Actor Damon Quinn who played Cal in Give my head peace raises a glass as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Actor Damon Quinn who played Cal in Give my head peace raises a glass as the funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of BJ Hogg passes his home at Westbourne Terrace in Lisburn on May 4th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

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Actors Paddy Jenkins and Damon Quinn join family and friends to raise a toast outside Roselawn Cemetery in Belfast as the hearse arrives during the funeral of actor BJ Hogg.

The cast of the hit TV comedy Give My Head Peace yesterday raised a socially-distanced glass and gave a fond farewell round of applause to the actor BJ Hogg, who created one of the show's most popular characters and who died last week.

Observing coronavirus restrictions at his funeral, BJ's friends and colleagues stayed well apart as they sipped their own small measures of Black Bush whiskey, the actor's favourite tipple.

The Hole in the Wall gang had been joined at a Lisburn funeral home by some other well-known actors and technicians who had worked with BJ throughout his illustrious career on stage and on screen.

The star of The Fall TV series and the Oscar-nominated short movie Dance Lexie Dance died suddenly last week on his 65th birthday.

His costume designer wife Elish and their children Nathan and Abigail watched as his coffin was brought from the funeral parlour to a waiting hearse.

Nathan had posted a video online of his father singing a powerful song from the Ulster Scots musical On Eagle's Wing, and he added a message saying: "Love you Dad. What a Voice."

There were lighter moments on social media too.

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Some fans of BJ's alter ego from Give My Head Peace (GMHP), Big Mervyn, the dim-witted loyalist, wondered if he would get a paramilitary-style funeral and if a service would be conducted by the show's fundamentalist Protestant cleric, Pastor Begbie.

In the end there was no funeral service but Paddy Jenkins, the actor who plays Pastor Begbie, was among the mourners at the funeral home, along with other GMHP performers including Tim McGarry, Michael McDowell, Damon Quinn, Dan Gordon, Alexandra Ford and Marty Reid, who plays Big Mervyn's sidekick, Uncle Andy.

BBC floor manager Stephen Killen was also there, as were Game of Thrones star Ian McElhinney and his playwright wife Marie Jones and actors Alan McKee and Marty Maguire.

En route to Roselawn Crematorium, the hearse stopped briefly outside BJ's old boyhood home in Westbourne Terrace, Lisburn.

Some of the GMPH team went on to stand at the gates of Roselawn as BJ's hearse arrived for cremation.

No one is currently allowed inside the church there due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Paddy Jenkins, who also worked with BJ on On Eagle's Wing, reflected on a difficult day.

He said: "It was heartbreaking to realise that BJ's loved ones didn't get the chance to say a proper farewell. But the times we are living in mean nothing is the way it is supposed to be.

"There mightn't have been a normal funeral for BJ today, but I know the family and all of us are determined that he will eventually get the sort of thanksgiving service that he so richly deserves once the current coronavirus emergency eases."

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