FUNERAL HELD FOR THE LEGEND THAT WAS GERRY ANDERSON

Pals Mickey Bradley and Sean Coyle carry the coffin of Gerry Anderson out of St Eugene's Cathedral today

Pals Mickey Bradley and Sean Coyle carry the coffin of Gerry Anderson out of St Eugene’s Cathedral today

OVER 1,000 people have attended the funeral today of television and radio presenter Gerry Anderson.

St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry was packed to capacity for Requiem Mass during which the 69-year-old, who died on Thursday last after a long illness, was described as an “enormous and unique” talent.

Mourners had begun gathering at the church up to 90 minutes before the service.

Some of the biggest names in Northern Irish broadcasting attended as well as many of Gerry’s colleagues from BBC Radio Foyle and BBC Northern Ireland.

Among those in attendance were Sky TV’s Eamonn Holmes, former UTV presenter Ivan Little, UTV’s Paul Clarke and Frank Mitchell and Ulster Unionist leader, Mike Nesbitt and his wife Linda Bryans, both former presenters with UTV.

Derry singer-songwriter Phil Coulter and former SDLP leader, John Hume, were also among the mourners.

Speaking to Derry Daily after the service, Eamon Holmes described Gerry as a “legend.”

He added: “He was a character. He was someone who kept listeners and viewers on the edge.”

Speaking during the service, Fr Paul Farren said Gerry was a private person who was happiest when he was at home surrounded by his family.

Fr Farren added: “He was a famous man, unaffected by fame.”

Two of Gerry’s favourite artistes, local jazz legend, Gay McIntyre, whose band Gerry had been a member of as a teenager, and Sean Donnelly, under the musical director of Frank Gallagher, performed during the service.

Gerry’s radio “sidekick,” Sean Coyle, carried his remains from the church along with former Radio Foyle station manager, Michael McGowan, Radio Foyle producer and Undertones member Michael Bradley, and BBC producer/camera man Mark McCauley.

Gerry was laid to rest in the City Cemetery immediately after the service.

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