Comedian and actor Mike Reid had the last laugh as mourners packed into his funeral.
The 67-year-old’s coffin was carried into Little Easton Parish Church, Essex, accompanied by his 1970s chart hit Ugly Duckling.
His hearse, complete with a floral duck on the roof, arrived on Tuesday in a cortege followed by his close family.
Dozens of his fans congregated outside to hear the service on speakers.
Several past and present cast members of EastEnders – where Reid made his name as Frank Butcher – attended, including Barbara Windsor, June Brown, Pam St Clement, Sid Owen and Michael Greco.
Ex-boxer Henry Cooper, soccer agent Eric Hall and comedians Bobby Davro and Russ Abbot were also among the mourners.
Reid’s step son Jimmy read a tribute during the hour-long service, attended by about 250 people.
“He was a big man, big in stature, big in presence, big in everything,” he said, his voice breaking as he spoke.
He added: “He will be sadly missed by many but to our family, and especially to our mother Shirley, his loss is almost too much to bear.”
Frank Sinatra’s My Way was played in the church, and the hymn The Lord Is My Shepherd was sung.
After the service, Barbara Windsor, who plays Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, said: “He was a wonderful man and I am going to miss him a lot.
“He was wonderful to work with. I was privileged.”