Lynda Bellingham‘s funeral will apparently be a Royal Variety-style celebration of her life.
The actress and star of the Oxo ads died earlier this month after battling colon cancer which later spread to other parts of her body, and her heartbroken husband Michael Pattemore has asked her friends to help plan the lively send-off she wanted, reported the Sunday Mirror.
Lynda’s best friend Christopher Biggins said: “It’s going to be the longest funeral ever!
“Michael has asked Maureen (Lipman), me, and Nickolas (Grace), and then various people from through Lynda’s career to do something.
“It’ll be loud and bright and joyous. That’s the kind of girl she was. It’s one last show before the curtain goes down.”
Christopher will wear a bright pink suit to reflect Lynda’s personality for the service next week.
“Michael and Lynda’s son Michael are having a meeting this Monday to finalise the running order and who will do what,” he said.
“Lynda had a lot of input, but I don’t know exactly what her plans were – she kept them secret, but she will have chosen some of the music and there may be other surprises.”
Jane McDonald and Denise Welch are also set to take part in the service, which will be held in Somerset, with a memorial set to take place in London at a later date.
Lynda, who died aged 66, had hoped for one last Christmas after choosing to end treatment for her cancer.
Christopher said: “Christmas was a time she loved – the food and atmosphere and everything. It wouldn’t surprise me if she hasn’t already bought presents for the boys and Michael.
“But those of us who were close to her knew she wouldn’t make it until then.
“Last Christmas she was already quite ill. She was restricted in going out because of the chemotherapy, which was very tough.
“She told me ‘gosh this is hard’, but would never go any further than that. But she was so positive that even to say that it must have been really very bad. She wanted to prove she could last one more Christmas but I feared deep down she wouldn’t.”
The late star’s fans are hoping that ITV will screen her famous Christmas Oxo ad this year, reported The Sun. Two Facebook groups have been set up in a bid to get the ad from 1984 shown on Christmas Day.