LONDON Irish comedian Sean Hughes was granted his final wish as he was laid to rest today.
Friends and family gathered to pay their final respects at a service at Islington and Camden Cemetery in north London.
Among those who attended were fellow comedians and celebrity friends Jack Dee, Bob Mortimer, David Baddiel, Johnny Vegas and Omid Djalili.
Mourners received an order of service marked ‘A Celebration of Life’ which featured a picture of the late star on the front and inside some of his poems and favourite quotes including those of Seamus Heaney.
A traditional wake was held afterwards – a poignant echo of a poem Hughes had written 23 years before and which was shared thousands of times after news broke of his untimely death aged 51.
The poem, entitled Death and published in 1994, described how he would like to be remembered when he died.
“I want to be cremated…I know how boring funerals can be,” he wrote.
I want people to gather..meet new people..have a laugh, a dance…meet a loved one.”
You can read the poem in full below
Hughes’ brothers Alan and Martin has written on the star’s Twitter page to invite those who knew him to join them in celebrating his life.
“If you were a significant part of Sean’s life, at any stage, please join us to celebrate him Monday. Thanks,” they wrote.
Mourners were also asked that any donations, if desired, be given ‘to any charity you hold dearly’.
If you were a significant part of Sean’s life, at any stage, please join us to celebrate him Monday. Thanks. – brothers Alan and Martin. pic.twitter.com/X9MMTyP8pU
— Sean Hughes (@mr_seanhughes) October 22, 2017
A death notice for the former Never Mind the Buzzcocks funnyman stated that he died on October 16 after a short illness.
The star passed away at Whittington Hospital in London.
We are saddened to hear that Sean Hughes has died. Our love and thoughts go out to his family x pic.twitter.com/3nrGmEWTGW
— The Divine Comedy (@divinecomedyhq) October 16, 2017
Sorry to hear of Sean Hughes’ death aged only 51, this is his own poem ‘Death’. pic.twitter.com/ijT3FWeyZk
— Jane Brewer (@jane_brewer) October 16, 2017
Father Ted actor and comedian Ardal O’Hanlon was among those to pay tribute to Hughes saying he had shown the way for many other Irish comedians over the last 30 years.
“I will remember fondly his joyful, inspiring, trailblazing Perrier award-winning show in 1990 and the delightful C4 sitcom Sean’s Show,” he said.
“I will also remember him equally fondly as a challenging and argumentative friend.
— Niall O’Loughlin (@nialloloughlin) October 16, 2017
Sean Hughes was born in London in 1965, but spent most of his youth in Firhouse, Dublin.
His first Edinburgh show, A One Night Stand with Sean Hughes won the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award and he quickly built a cult following.
He had also appeared on TV and in film, including ITV soap Coronation Street and Alan Parker’s The Commitments in 1991.
Death – a poem by Sean Hughes
I want to be cremated
I know how boring funerals can be
I want people to gather
meet new people
have a laugh, a dance, meet a loved one.
I want people to have free drink all night.
I want people to patch together, half truths.
I want people to contradict each other
I want them to say ‘I didn’t know him but cheers’
I want my parents there,
adding more pain to their life.
I want the Guardian to mis-sprint three lines about me
or to be mentioned on the news
Just before the ‘parrot who loves Brookside’ story.
I want to have my ashes scattered in a bar,
on the floor, mingle with sawdust,
a bar where beautiful trendy people
Will trample over me… again