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Sir Jimmy Savile 'lies in state'

Thousands of fans filed past the golden coffin of Sir Jimmy Savile as it lay in state in the bar of Queens Hotel, Leeds.

Visitors recounted endless tales of the broadcaster and charity worker's life, laid flowers and left messages in books of condolences. Radio Leeds suggested trying to find someone in Yorkshire who didn't know Sir Jimmy, or hadn't benefited from his volunteer position as a hospital porter at Leeds general infirmary.

Richard Firth, 34, from Reading said: "He's the last of a kind. Modern day celebrities are all about themselves. Sir Jimmy was about everybody else."

Savile's nephew Roger Foster said: "It started off as a straightforward family funeral. The funeral director pointed out that to me he was an uncle; to everybody else he was a national treasure. We just tried to read his mind and give him what we thought he would have wanted.

"He would have revelled in this because it is what he was about; just mixing with people, meeting with people. His whole life was spent with ordinary people."

Sir Jimmy was found dead at his flat on 29 October. His funeral will be held today at 2pm. He will be buried in a tracksuit with a Royal Marines beret and a Help For Heroes wristband.

In a final joke, he asked to be buried at a 45 degree angle so that he could see the sea. Undertaker Roy Morphet has promised to fix that for him.

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