Thursday, 16 September 2021

Fond farewell for Minder actor George Cole

Dozens of people attended the funeral of George Cole at Reading Crematorium today (Thursday).

Dozens of people attended the funeral of George Cole at Reading Crematorium today (Thursday).

The 90-year-old actor, who lived near Stoke Row, died on Wednesday last week at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, surrounded by family, following a short illness.

The casket of the Minder star was brought into the crematorium to the show's theme tune, accompanied by his wife Penny and children Tara, Toby and Crispin.

More than 90 people in the chapel listened as his co-star Dennis Waterman gave a eulogy, describing Cole as "the most liked man in our entire profession".

Waterman said: "I knew him for just a little bit of his career but loved him hugely. When I was told he would play Arthur Daley I thought he's too soft, too posh and too nice - how I underestimated that man.

"After two and a half days we realised how much we loved working together and that lasted forever.

"I spent Tuesday with him before he died and the last thing I said to him was, 'you do exactly as you're told'. He raised one of those eyebrows, started a crooked grin and said 'bollocks'."

Waterman's I Could Be So Good For You was played during the service.

There was also a reading by Mrs Cole before the casket was committed to The Ashokan Farewell.

Boards with photos of Cole throughout his career were on display in the chapel, one of which was topped with his iconic trilby hat from Minder.

Mourners left the chapel to Goodbye from White Horse Inn, Cole's first theatre production.

See next week's Henley Standard for a full report and more pictures.

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