Huddersfield’s best-loved comic actor Gorden Kaye celebrated for his ‘Allo ‘Allo! appearances was laid to rest in a moving service at St Peter’s Church today.
Gorden, 75, from Moldgreen, played cafe owner Rene Artois on the BBC show, watched at its height by millions. It centred on the fictional exploits of WW2 Resistance fighters in German-occupied France.
Around 200 mourners including a sprinkling of celebrities attended the lunchtime service.
It was led by the Vicar of Huddersfield, the Rev Canon Simon Moor, and started with the unofficial Yorkshire anthem and folk song On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At.
He said: “He accepted himself he was never really a scholar. Ironically, his only real success at secondary school was in French.”
In the eulogy, friend and producer Charles Garland, who worked on ‘Allo ‘Allo!, said the part of Rene was “written for him and, to be honest, it was perfect casting.”
The actor appeared in all 84 episodes of ‘Allo ‘Allo! which ran from 1982 until 1992, and reprised the role in a 2007 special, as well as appearing in a stage version of the series.
Kaye, who had dementia, died last month at a care home in Knaresborough.
Comedian, Keith Simmons, said the star would always be known as King Gorden to the Water Rats – a showbiz fraternity and charity which the star had been ‘King’ of in 1999.
“He was a lovely man and we had great times,” he said.
Vicki Michelle, who played saucy waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche, said he was part of her life and “almost like a husband” for at least 20 years.
She said: “He was lovely. Sometimes he was really naughty and he played pranks, and other times he’d be quite serious, and sometimes I think he was quite lonely. There were many different sides to him.”
The actor began his professional career working for the Bolton Repertory Theatre.
In January 1990 he was seriously injured when a piece of wood smashed through the windscreen of his car during a storm.
He was left with a scar on his forehead and no memory of the details of the accident, but he recovered and was able to resume his career.
In 1989 he penned an autobiography in which he described growing up as a shy, homosexual youth.
Afterwards, Ken Morley who played General Leopold von Flockenstuffen in ‘Allo Allo!, said: “I have got very, very fond memories of Gorden.
"It was strange because it was like the War of the Roses, I’m from Lancashire and he’s from Yorkshire. I ended up playing a German and he a French person.
“‘Allo Allo! ran for nine years which was quite a bit longer than the war itself. He was hilarious.”