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DJ Derek: Hundreds attend funeral in Bristol

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media captionMourners become musicians after DJ Derek's funeral.

Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to a man known as "Britain's oldest DJ" at his funeral in Bristol.

Derek Serpell-Morris, known as DJ Derek, went missing last July aged 73. His remains were discovered in March after a high-profile search.

During the service at St Agnes Church in St Pauls, Bristol, Gerald Serpell-Morris said his brother's "increasing fame amused him".

In a eulogy he described his brother as "kind, modest and unassuming".

image captionA floral display resembling a set of turntables travelled with the coffin
image captionMassive Attack member Daddy G was among those who attended the funeral at St Agnes Church

Rev Liz Perry, the church's priest-in-charge, said: "Everyone described him with a great deal of love.

"There was a great sense of humour about the place - a reflection of Derek and his personality. He was a showstopper and his funeral was a showstopper."

image captionSome well-wishers arrived at the funeral wearing t-shirts inspired by DJ Derek
image captionBob Marley's One Love was played following the service

DJ Derek, a former accountant, was known to thousands of music fans and played hundreds of sets at local clubs and pubs, as well as at the Glastonbury festival.

He had lived in St Pauls in Bristol since 1978, worked with Massive Attack and once appeared in a Dizzee Rascal video.

His great niece Jennifer Griffiths and friend Aiden Larkin - who was DJing at the church before the service - also gave eulogies.

Bob Marley's One Love was played following the service which also included a bible reading about love from 1 Corinthians 13, an address by lay preacher Ian Love, and the hymn For the Beauty of the Earth.

image copyrightDaddy G & Don Letts

Who was DJ Derek?

  • Worked in finance for Cadbury's until the 1970s
  • A DJ job at the Star and Garter pub in Bristol followed
  • Became known for playing a blend of 1960s rocksteady, reggae, ska, dancehall and soul music
  • Awarded a Lord Mayor's medal for his "outstanding" contribution to the music scene in Bristol
  • His final set before retiring was played at a London show in 2013

Related Topics

  • Bristol

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