Stars pay tribute to writer Dick Francis

PERSONALITIES from the racing and literary worlds yesterday joined famous friends of Dick Francis to celebrate the late author's life.

Lester Piggott, Angela Rippon, Judith Chalmers and Sir Tim Rice were among those attending the memorial service for Francis, a jockey and the author of 42 novels, who died in February at the age of 89.

The service, with a request for "no black ties", took place in St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, London.

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The best-selling thriller writer Frederick Forsyth said Francis was "one of nature's gentlemen" and described his novels as "terrifc" and "entertainment of the purest form".

Actor Anthony Andrews spoke of Francis's love of watching musicals, and sang Oh What A Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma! in tribute.