Those arriving for the funeral at the Roman Catholic St Anne’s Cathedral in Leeds included DJs Mike Read and Tony Prince. Mr Read said: “Today should be a celebration. He’d have loved it, a showman to the end.”
He added: “You don’t want it to happen but if it’s inevitable, the bigger the crowd the better. It’s extraordinary.
“I think it’s a celebration rather than anything else.” Mr Read delighted onlookers and the media throng which had gathered to document the proceedings with some impressions of Sir Jimmy.
He said yesterday: “He made people feel good.”
The veteran DJ brought a Union flag card signed by the Bee Gees. The band had also sent flowers.
Shortly after the funeral began, boxer Frank Bruno arrived at the cathedral.
Afterwards he chatted to the members of the public as they thronged outside the steps.
“He was very special man,” the boxer added yesterday.
Tony Prince, 66, said: “He was my mentor. He was the mentor for DJs in Europe. He was unique throughout his life and he is a testament to kindness and goodness and being a damned good DJ.”
Mr Prince added: “He lived his life with his tongue in his cheek.
“If there’s a heaven, he will be laughing now if he’s got time.
“Because if there is a heaven, he will be introducing Elvis on the clouds.” The legendary broadcaster was found dead at his flat in Roundhay, Leeds, just two days before his 85th birthday.
His death comes after he recently spent ten days in hospital with suspected pneumonia.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall led the tributes to him.
Sir Jimmy started working life as a miner before running a series of clubs and working as a wrestler and then a DJ.
He first rose to fame on the BBC with Jim’ll Fix It and Top of the Pops, where he presented the music show’s first episode.
He has raised millions for charity and ran more than 200 marathons in support of good causes.