Funeral held for Gerry Anderson

Published Sunday, 24 August 2014
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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.

Mr 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".

© UTV News
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5 Comments
sean flood in Australia wrote (117 days ago):
So sorry to hear about Gerry Anderson living here in Australia I listened to his show as often as I could , as I listened to his show in my home , I felt I was back home with the streets of Belfasr all around me thank you Gerry and Sean I will not forget you Gerry Anderson R I P
Brendan in STROKE CITY wrote (118 days ago):
We've lost one of our favourite sons...Stroke City will always remember you Gerry. Rest in Peace.
David mccormack in scotland wrote (118 days ago):
Sad passing of an immense man and broadcaster, as far away from most other radio presenters as the stars. RIP Gerry David MCC
angie in england wrote (119 days ago):
In the 80s. I enjoyed gerry anderson chat show. He was a laugh and funny man and I was on his radio station talking to him.he said the for way person gets a prize. And I got it. Going missing you Gerry. In the sky ur going to be my brightness star and ur going to watch me and ur family and my two lovely boys Luke and Cameron. R.I.p.good bless. Big hugggg. Xxx
Desmond Wonnacott in Belfast wrote (119 days ago):
I just like to say thank you Lord for people like Gerry. He brightened up my mornings with the program he hosted. I loved his wit and introduced me to recordings which had me rolling about with laughter. For me to try and recount all of the people and things he brought to his shows would take me far too long. His wife must have had her hands full to contain Gerry's personality and must have been very difficult, but I say this in a kind and reverent manner which I'm sure Gerry will be in kinks with that irreverent grin, wink and tilt of his head attitude.Hope my grammar is correct and also the spellings as he would have something to say about them. To Gerry , I was unfortunate not to have met you in this life,but hope to meet you in the hereafter. DES
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