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Keith Floyd’s Family & Friends Said Final Goodbyes

Posted Oct 06 2009 10:01pm

Extravagant TV chef Keith Floyd had his final goodbyes from family and friends yesterday as he was buried in a wicker coffin constructed from banana leaves. There was a distinct lack of celebrity chefs in attendance at the service however.

The banana leaf coffin, which was adorned with bright sunflowers, was carried out of the service to the music Waltz In Black by the Stranglers - a favourite of Floyd’s as well as being the theme tune to his television series.

Jean-Christophe Novelli and Marco Pierre White could not get out of prior work commitments in order to go to the funeral - despite being close friends of the flamboyant chef.

Also nowhere to be seen were Rick Stein, Antony Worrall Thompson and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who all made a point of paying memorable tributes about the great man when he passed away.

To celebrate Floyd’s passion for the good things in life, a feast of cassoulet, duck, goose and “lots of red wine” was served after the service.

Floyd’s family and friends fondly remembered him at the humanist funeral in Bristol, as his coffin, adorned with sunflowers laid before them.

The 65 year old made his name in the world of television cooking after his popular series were shown for the BBC. Tragically he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June, before suffering a fatal heart attack at his partner’s home on September 14.

Guests at the funeral included his partner Celia Martin, his biographer James Steen, the stand-up comic Jim Davidson, David Pritchard, the BBC TV producer who discovered Floyd 27 years ago in Bristol and royal commentator James Whitaker.

Floyd’s son Patrick recited Rudyard Kipling’s poem If to the congregation at Ashton Court Mansion, a 15th century grade-I listed mansion surrounded by 850 acres of woods, before his daughter Poppy stood up to say a few words about her late father.

She said, “You would have definitely preferred to have been a rock star called Elvis than a famous cook called Keith Floyd.

“But because of that - your love of music - you managed to put not only sun on a plate but an outrageous dose of rock and roll.

“However much you said ’Dear friends, cooking is not an art or even a science’, you were an artist and, to be honest, you were a bloody good one.”

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