Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 25, 2009

Clement seen off

The funeral for Sir Clement Freud was held today and seems to have been quite an occasion.

Most of the British papers have extensive reports and photos.

Clement's JAM colleagues Nicholas Parsons, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Gyles Brandreth and Stephen Fry were among the mourners, as of course was Emma Freud. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, spoke at the service, and among others attending was Bono.

Among the anecdotes told at the service: A friend recalled dining with Sir Clement, who was tucking into the sausage rolls with gusto. "I thought you were trying to get in shape," said the friend. "I am," Sir Clement replied. "And the shape I have chosen is a triangle."

Some of his 17 grandchildren queued to read out their favourite quotes from Sir Clement, including the occasion on Just a Minute when he was asked what his favourite words were. “Unguent”, “parallelogram” and “ubiquitous” were all candidates — but his favourite words were: “Clement Freud, you are the winner.”

The funeral order of service referred to one of Clement's JAM jokes, including the words "best before" rather than "died".

Nicholas Parsons made this comment after the service: "It was the most brilliant funeral service I have ever been to. Clement would have approved. He would have found something sardonic to say but he would have been very flattered and happy. He would have been extremely moved but he would not have wanted to admit it."

Stephen Fry had this comment; "That was far and away the most wonderful funeral service I have ever attended, if a funeral service can be wonderful. It was touching, elegant, funny and beautifully organised. It was really remarkable. I couldn't sing, partly because I was standing next to Bono, which would have rather put my voice to shame, but also because one was so choked by it all. The whole thing was wonderful and I was proud to be there."

As the coffin left the church, the Just A Minute theme, the Minute Waltz, was played.

Some reports on the occasion are here
This is from the Telegraph
This is from the Times
This is from the Guardian

Pictures here
From The BBC site - selection includes pics of Nicholas and Gyles together, Paul and Graham together, and Stephen.

This is from the Daily Mail - includes pics of Nicholas, Paul, Graham and Stephen


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