Family to hold Lynda Bellingham's funeral today

Family to hold Lynda Bellingham's funeral today

The friends and family of Lynda Bellingham will gather today to say goodbye to the actress who died last month.

Her husband, Michael Pattemore, and friends from the world of television will pay tribute to the star at her funeral in the Somerset town of Crewkerne.

The actress, best known for her long-running role as the mother in the Oxo TV adverts, had colon cancer which later spread to her lungs and liver.

She was diagnosed with cancer last July and said she decided to end her treatment to limit the amount of suffering her family would witness.

In her last few weeks, she spoke openly about her illness and its effect on her family.

One of her last wishes was to spend one more Christmas at home with them, but her husband said the advanced state of her illness meant it was clear she was unable to die at home as she dearly wished.

He told Yours magazine, for which his late wife was a columnist: “She was in too much pain and they didn’t have it under control enough for me to be able to look after her.”

Mr Pattemore said: “I can tell you now that the words on her gravestone will be ’The curtain went up on May 31 1948, and the final curtain went down on October 19 2014’.”

Bellingham’s acting career included the title role in sitcom Faith In The Future and regular stage roles.

She was also a regular on panel show Loose Women, and filmed a special farewell episode where she spoke about her illness.

Her Loose Women co-presenter Nadia Sawalha, who also appeared with her in the Oxo adverts, paid tribute to a “brilliant actress”.

She said Bellingham told her fellow Loose Women panellists: “’Please, when I’m gone, have a big party for me and have a dance’ and that’s Lynda through and through.”

Her decision to end her treatment was revealed in a newspaper serialisation of her autobiography which was published 10 days before she died.

Bellingham was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list for her charity work.

The mother-of-two appeared as the mother in a squabbling family in the Oxo adverts since the 1980s.

Bellingham, whose sister Barbara died from lung cancer, had been a high-profile supporter of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The actress, who was adopted, published a best-selling memoir, Lost And Found, which dealt with her search for her birth mother.

She also wrote a novel, Tell Me Tomorrow, which was published last year.

Bellingham married Pattemore, who was her third husband, on her 60th birthday.

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