Funeral procession fit for a King

IT was a spectacle fit for royalty.

But Sir Jimmy Savile was, after all, showbusiness hierarchy and today’s funeral procession was undoubtedly fit for a King.

The Jim’ll Fix It legend’s gold coffin sat nestled atop a bed of white roses as he made his final journey through Scarborough and the places he so cherished.

Flamboyant and ostentatious to the end, the veteran DJ’s send off was everything he could have wished for.

As the hearse drew under his Esplanade abode he had lived in for nearly 30 years - and previously shared with his mother, who he affectionately called The Duchess - it paused momentarily for the great man to take in the South Cliff vista he adored one final time.

A collective hush descended as the funeral director began slowly pacing towards the Crown Spa Hotel at the front of the cortege, with only the sound of waves gently lapping the shore below breaking the sombre silence.

Ripples of applause then began to break out from the 300-strong crowd as Sir Jim went by and some fans cried out for three cheers for their hero.

Even the great man would have been humbled by the sentiment.

A true showman to the end, his cortege arrived in Foreshore Road slightly behind schedule but to no less of a reception.

Hundreds of people, who had taken up positions and vantage points right along the stretch of the route, shuffled closer to catch a glimpse of the Top of the Pops star’s casket as it passed under the shadows of The Grand Hotel.

Cameras flashed away at a searing pace as the flickering excitement on the streets ignited into real celebration of Sir Jim’s life as he moved passed St Nicholas Cliff Gardens and the Futurist Theatre, which had given Sir Jim a farewell message on its billboard.

Even the leaden skies and mist which had gripped the coastline abated momentarily as brighter skies emerged.

It was almost like Sir Jim had orchestrated it all.

In a mark of respect, the beach side amusement arcades fell silent and dimmed their lights in his honour.

As the procession continued towards Marine Drive, their typical bright and bold vigour was revived and the show went on again.

As a man ingrained in showbusiness and familiar with making a statement, Sir Jim would have fully expected it.

And he would have welcomed every second of it too.