Funeral held for Gerry Anderson

Funeral held for Gerry Anderson

The funeral has taken place for the Northern Ireland broadcaster Gerry Anderson in his native city Londonderry, or "Stroke City" as he affectionately dubbed it.

Mr Anderson passed away on Thursday at the age of 69 following a long illness.The award-winning presenter was best known for his BBC Radio Ulster mid-morning show and his wit and unique broadcasting style earned him a huge following of people of all ages and from all backgrounds.On Sunday mourners joined with Mr Anderson's family, his wife Christine, his two children and two grandchildren, to pay their respects.Many well-known faces from the world of broadcasting gathered at the packed out St Eugene's Cathedral in the city for the funeral mass.Father Paul Farren described Mr Anderson as a having a "unique talent" and being a man who could rename a city.He added: "We gather to give thanks to God for Gerry's life and for all the joy and gifts and entertainment that so many people received through Gerry, especially those into whose lives he brought light and joy when light could be dim and joy hard to find.The cleric revealed that, despite his very public persona, Mr Anderson was an "immensely private man"."In many ways everybody knows Gerry and, in other ways, only Christine and her family know Gerry."He is a man full of life, he is a man who died too soon."He is the man who could entertain the masses and the man who was never happier than when he was at home with just his family around him."Fr Farren said Mr Anderson was unaffected by his fame and was known for his "boundless generosity"."He is the man who could re-name a city and he is the man his family describes as being a simple man who enjoys simple things," he added.Mr Anderson's long-time radio side-kick Sean Coyle and his show's producer Mickey Bradly helped carry the coffin from the church to the city cemetery for burial.One former colleague of the Derry man said the airwaves would be a quieter place now he was gone.Beautiful service for Gerry Anderson today. Thoughts and love with his family.— Colin Murray (@ColinMurray) August 24, 2014Mr Anderson was forced off the airwaves almost two years ago due to ill health but, until relatively recently, had always expressed a desire to return.The former show band guitarist had a 30-year career in broadcasting.His professional highlights included his 2005 induction into the UK Radio Hall of Fame, while his brief and ill-fated spell on Radio 4 a decade earlier was undoubtedly a low.He also hosted a number of TV programmes on BBC Northern Ireland, but it was his contribution to Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle for which he will be most fondly remembered.His quirky and humorous morning phone-in show, which he presented with long-time friend and colleague Sean Coyle, had a legion of loyal fans.His widow Christine has said she has been "overwhelmed" by the tributes that have flooded in since her husband's death.Among those who extended condolences were Sir Terry Wogan and BBC director general Tony Hall.Mr Hall hailed the late presenter as a "distinctive and iconic voice".


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