Leeds & West Yorkshire

Gorden Kaye: Funeral of 'Allo 'Allo! star held in Huddersfield

Coffin being carried Image copyright PA
Image caption Crowds gathered outside Huddersfield Parish Church for the service

The funeral of actor Gorden Kaye, who was best known for his role in the hit BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, has taken place in his home town of Huddersfield.

Kaye played cafe owner Rene Artois on the show, which centred on the fictional exploits of WW2 resistance fighters in German-occupied France.

Mourners filled Huddersfield Parish Church for the lunchtime service.

'Allo 'Allo! co-stars Vicki Michelle and Sue Hodge were among those who attended.

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The service, led by the Reverend Canon Simon Moor, started with Yorkshire folk song On Ilkla Moor Baht 'At.

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Image caption Kaye's 'Allo 'Allo! co-stars Vicki Michelle and Sue Hodge were among those who attended

While telling the congregation about Kaye's childhood and early career, Canon Moor said: "He accepted himself he was never really a scholar.

"Ironically, his only real success at secondary school was in French."

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Media captionThe funeral of Gorden Kaye, who was best known for his role in the hit BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, takes place

In a eulogy, friend and producer Charles Garland, who worked on 'Allo 'Allo!, said the part of Rene was "written for him and, to be honest it was perfect casting".

The actor appeared in all 84 episodes of 'Allo 'Allo, which ran from 1982 until 1992, and reprised the role in a 2007 special, as well as appearing in a stage version of the series.

Kaye, who had dementia, died last month aged 75 at a care home in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.

Image caption Kaye appeared in every episode of the hit BBC sitcom

Michelle, who played waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche, said he was part of her life "like family" for at least 20 years.

She said: "He was lovely. Sometimes he was really naughty and he played pranks, and other times he'd be quite serious, and sometimes I think he was quite lonely - there were many different sides to him."

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Image caption Kim Hartman, who played Private Helga Geerhart in 'Allo 'Allo!, also attended the service

Kim Hartman, who played Private Helga Geerhart, said: "We worked together for 10 years, we travelled the world together with the 'Allo 'Allo! stage show.

"They were exciting times and I associate those with Gorden."

Born in Huddersfield, Kaye revealed in his autobiography the unusual spelling of his first name was due to a spelling error by the acting union Equity, which he decided to adopt.

The actor got his first big TV break in ITV soap Coronation Street, playing Elsie Tanner's nephew Bernard Butler.

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Image caption Coronation Street and 'Allo 'Allo! actor Ken Morley also attended

He went on to appear in a number of roles in sitcoms including Till Death Us Do Part, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Are You Being Served? before landing the role of Rene.

Former Coronation Street actor Ken Morley, who played General Leopold von Flockenstuffen in 'Allo 'Allo!, said: "I am going to miss him.

"Between Gorden and myself it was like the War of the Roses because he was from Yorkshire and I was from Lancashire."

He added: "We had a laugh together, he was a very funny guy."

Image caption Gorden Kaye played Rene Artois in the 1980s sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!

In 1990, Kaye was seriously injured when a piece of wood smashed through the windscreen of his car during a storm.

He was left with a scar on his forehead and no memory of the details of the accident, but he recovered and was able to resume his career.

Castmate Sue Hodge, who played waitress Mimi Labonq, said: "I haven't actually got to grips with the fact he's not here.

"I'm never ever going to forget him. He'll be with me forever."

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