Sir Jimmy Savile was described as a ‘showman right till the end’ as the broadcaster’s gold-coloured coffin went on display to the public as part of his three-day funeral.
In a style in keeping with the veteran DJ’s life, the casket was placed in The Queens Hotel, in his home city of Leeds, surrounded by items of memorabilia, for fans to visit to pay their last respects.
And as members of the public queued in the rain, details of Sir Jimmy’s last wishes emerged, including his request to be buried at a 45-degree angle overlooking the sea in Scarborough, north Yorkshire.
The larger-than-life broadcaster’s closed coffin, which will be displayed for most of the day in the bar of the hotel, features a crucifix and was covered with white roses.
Pictures of Sir Jimmy, wearing his trademark round, pink-tinted glasses, were displayed in the room and the last cigar he ever smoked was placed in an ashtray on a table in front of the casket.
Also on the table were Sir Jimmy’s two This Is Your Life books, another crucifix, a candle and another photograph of the star.
When asked if the broadcasting icon would have approved of today’s event, his friend Howard Silverman said he ‘would have loved it’.
Mr Silverman, who was friends with Sir Jimmy for 40 years, said: “He was a showman right till the end. I think he would have liked it – it’s just a pity he’s not here to see it.”
On Wednesday, Sir Jimmy’s funeral cortege will visit his mother’s house and the Leeds General Infirmary before arriving at the cathedral for a Requiem Mass.
On Thursday, the coffin will tour Scarborough before Sir Jimmy is laid to rest.