Sunday, September 27, 2009

Floyd To Be Cremated In Banana Leaves

On my last blog, I wrote about the confusion over Keith Floyd's funeral arrangements. Now it turns out he is to be cremated in a banana leaf coffin in Bristol, the city where he ran a string of restaurants and launched his cooking career.

A public memorial service will take place at Ashton Court Mansion at 11.30am this Wednesday before a private service for family at Canford Crematorium.

The humanist funeral is being organised by Floyd's partner Celia Martin, who the wine-quaffing raconteur had been living with as he battled bowel cancer.

Ms Martin has chosen a handmade woven coffin made from banana leaves for the eccentric entertainer - because of its environmentally friendly nature, and partly as a humorous nod to his love of cooking with leaves.

She said: "It will be a sad day. I'm still trying to organise the funeral and it's taking up all my time. But that's probably quite a useful thing isn't it - to take one's mind off things.

"But goodness knows how one will feel after the funeral - I think there will be a sudden drop when everything goes quiet."

She added: "There have been some wonderful tributes to him. The answer phone has been clogged with messages from his old friends."

She said she had received support from Floyd's old friends Marco Pierre White and Jean Christophe Novelli in arranging the funeral.

"Marco was an enormously good friend of Keith's and he and Jean Christophe have been tremendously kind and good after Keith's death too. They have been very supportive," she added.

"The funeral's not going to be sombre, it's going to be musical.

"Keith was hugely fond of music; it played an important part in his life.

"And that's why there will be quite a few bits of music and some very nice tributes paid by some very good friends."

The music is being arranged by music producer and songwriter Bill Padley with the help of Floyd's son Patrick.

Ms Martin's local funeral directors, AG Down, are arranging the humanist service.

A spokesman for the firm said any donations should go to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the Big Issue magazine.

Floyd passed away while watching TV at Ms Martin's home in Bridport, Dorset, two weeks ago. He was 65.

He had returned to Britain three weeks before to start chemotherapy for bowel cancer, and died just before the publication of his latest autobiography Stirred But Not Shaken.

The pair had celebrated Ms Martin's 65th birthday with a lunch of oysters, potted shrimps and partridge at celebrity chef Mark Hix's fish restaurant in nearby Lyme Regis.

It was to turn out to be the famous cook's last gourmet meal.

Floyd’s autobiography will be launched at Marco Pierre White's Knightsbridge restaurant Frankies on October 6, and will be a tribute of Floyd's life.

1 comment:

Nicky said...

I hope there will be some Stranglers. I always associate them with him.