Glasgow & West Scotland

Hundreds turn out for Glasgow funeral of Gerard Kelly

Hundreds of people have turned out for the funeral of Scottish actor Gerard Kelly in his native Glasgow.

Kelly, who was famous for his pantomime roles as well as TV and film appearances, died two weeks ago of a suspected brain aneurysm. He was 51.

Mourners at St Aloysius' Church, in Garnethill, included friends and former colleagues, Elaine C Smith, Tony Roper, Andy Gray and Kate Anthony.

A procession to Daldowie Crematorium followed the hour-long requiem mass.

A message in the order of service described Kelly as a beloved son and much loved brother and uncle.

It read: "Sorely missed by all but especially his friends from London."

On the back of the order of service there was a picture of Kelly in panto costume with the words "Bye Bye Pals ... See you later".

Image caption Gerard Kelly had appeared in pantomime for 20 years

During the service mourners sang hymns and heard readings.

Afterwards, Kelly's funeral cortege passed Glasgow's King's Theatre, where the actor was due to narrate The Rocky Horror Show.

As a tribute, the theatre displayed posters featuring Kelly in his former pantomime roles outside the venue. It is due to hold a memorial service next year.

Members of the public stood in the rain on Bath Street and clapped and wiped away tears as the hearse passed with a police escort.

Ann Yorke, from Ayr, said: "I've been coming to see Gerard Kelly in pantomimes for a long time with my grandchildren.

"We decided to come up today to get tickets for this year's show. He is going to be so missed.

"He was so funny, he held the show together, he was the backbone of the pantomime."

Catherine Partridge, from Glasgow, said: "I came down to pay my respects to Gerard Kelly because he was a brilliant actor and a very funny man.

"I grew up watching City Lights and then I started gong to see him in the pantomime and I'd take my own children."

"I was upset when I'd heard he had died."

Image caption Mourners arrive at St Aloysius Church for the funeral of Gerard Kelly

Kelly died at West Middlesex University Hospital on 28 October. It is understood he collapsed at his London home two days earlier.

The actor was born in Glasgow in 1959 and appeared in a string of television roles which included Juliet Bravo, Rab C Nesbitt, Scotch and Wry and Hamish Macbeth along with playing villain Callum Finnegan in Brookside and hardman Jimmy in Eastenders.

Last year he celebrated his 20th year in pantomime at Glasgow's Kings Theatre.

On the big screen, he played an angry priest in the Ken Loach film, Ae Fond Kiss.

Kelly remains best known in Scotland for his starring role as hapless would-be author Willie Melvin in City Lights, but more recently he appeared in the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras as Bunny.

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