Entertainment & Arts

Stars turn out for David Gest's funeral

Christopher Maloney, Kerry Katona and Cleo Rocos Image copyright PA / Getty
Image caption Christopher Maloney, Kerry Katona and Cleo Rocos attended Gest's funeral

Friends of David Gest have attended his funeral at Golders Green crematorium in north London.

The entertainer and former husband of Liza Minelli died earlier this month aged 62.

Cleo Rocos, Kerry Katona, Denise Welch, Christopher Maloney, Vanessa Feltz and Kym Marsh were among those paying their respects.

The funeral took place as it was confirmed a tour announced by Gest before his death will go ahead in July.

Image copyright PA

The lyrics to Nat King Cole's Unforgettable were seen as part of a white floral display on his coffin with a musical note and a butterfly.

Dean Gaffney, Kristina Rihanoff and Danniella Westbrook were also among those who attended the funeral.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Actor Dean Gaffney met Gest while taking part in ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here
Image copyright PA / Getty
Image caption Daniella Westbrook, Denise Welch and Vanessa Feltz attended Gest's funeral in Golders Green

Organisers of Gest's tour, which was called David Gest is not Dead but Alive With Soul, said its title would be retained in keeping with David's "mischievous sense of humour".

Guest performers on the live dates will include Dina Carroll, Melba Moore, Russell Thompkins Jr and Peabo Bryson.

The tour was named after a mix-up on this year's Celebrity Big Brother, on which Gest was a contestant.

Angie Bowie informed fellow housemate Tiffany Pollard that David - referring to her ex-husband David Bowie - had died.

Pollard broke down in tears believing Gest, who was ill in bed at the time, had died.

'Remember David'

The Alive With Soul tour includes nine dates, beginning on 1 July at York's Barbican Centre and wrapping up in Nottingham on 13 July.

Gest's friend Imad Handi, who has co-produced Gest's tours for several years, said: "He may sadly be gone but his spirit is alive in the music he loved."

Tributes will also be paid on the tour to singer Billy Paul, who was originally due to perform on the bill but died earlier this week.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Gest produced the highest-rated musical special in US TV history: Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Celebration

Band of Gold singer Freda Payne will compere the concerts, which Mr Handi said would be a chance for fans pay their respects and celebrate Gest's life.

"Just like myself, all the artists were devastated when they learned David had died," he said.

"Over the years they had become like a family together due to their close working relationship and the musicians were determined to go ahead with the tour to remember David with their music."

Gest died at the Four Seasons hotel in Canary Wharf, London, earlier this month aged 62.

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