Joe Longthorne death: Hull mourners pay respects

Funeral cortege
Image caption A special procession was held in Hull, where entertainer Joe Longthorne grew up

Hundreds of people have lined the streets of Hull to pay their respects to entertainer Joe Longthorne.

The 64-year-old, whose career spanned five decades, died on 3 August after a long-running battle with cancer.

A special procession was held on Hessle Road where Longthorne grew up, ahead of a funeral service on Tuesday at his home in Blackpool.

Mourners gathered along the road to watch a horse-drawn cortege travel past his late parents' home.

Image caption Longthorne was beset by illness for the past 20 years
Image caption The procession followed a route to Longthorne's late parents' home

His coffin arrived at his sister Ann White's house in Hull on Sunday.

"He was my world," she said. "I adored my brother. I worshipped him.

"He was born in Hull. He loved Hull. His heart was in Hull.

"The happiest days were spent with my Joe."

Image caption Floral tributes were left expressing love for the entertainer
Image caption Mourners gathered along Hessle Road where Longthorne grew up

The route started from the corner of Strickland Street and headed towards Coltman Street. His coffin will later return to Blackpool where Longthorne will be laid to rest.

The singer and impressionist died in "the arms of his devoted husband of 21 years Jamie, with his rosary beads clutched tight to his chest", the performer's website had said.

Longthorne found fame in the 1980s when he appeared on the ITV series Search For A Star, and on other TV programmes including the Les Dennis Laughter Show and the Royal Variety Performance.

He was also awarded an MBE for charitable services and toured overseas.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Prince Charles presented Longthorne with an MBE in 2012

However, at the peak of his career in 1989, he was diagnosed with the blood cancer lymphoma.

But Longthorne continued to perform and launched albums in the 1990s despite being diagnosed with leukaemia.

He was beset by further health complications after a bone marrow transplant in 2005, and he was involved in a serious road crash in 2011, suffering a broken nose and broken ribs.

His health further deteriorated when he was diagnosed with mouth cancer, but he returned to work in time for his 60th birthday celebrations.

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