Gypsy Wedding star Paddy Doherty's father gets funeral with Irish dancers and Rolls Royces

Russell Hope, News Reporter

A fleet of silver Rolls Royces, Irish dancing and a casket painted in the colours of the Irish flag featured at the funeral of the father of Paddy Doherty, star of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Simon Doherty, dubbed the "father of all travellers", was buried at St Michael's Church in Ashtead, Surrey at a service attended by hundreds of fellow members of the travelling community.

His son, a former bareknuckle fighter who has also appeared in Celebrity Big Brother, sat with his hand on the casket, decorated in the Irish tricolour, throughout.

Mr Doherty, 58, said: "He was like Mafia in his own way, not in a bad way - any trouble they would go to him. He was like the godfather - what he said was law. He wasn't an average man - he was outstanding, a great man.

"Everything had to be five stars for him, he lived the best and was the best. He said I want no one crying at my funeral, I want them happy, singing and get them drunk," he added.

Mr Doherty said he was grateful that so many people came and those mourners were treated to a video of Mr Doherty senior in a horse race, a group of Irish dancers and singing by TV presenter and dancer Roisin Mullins.

Close family members wore red ties, Mr Doherty's favourite colour, which they threw into his grave and flowers in the shape of an Irish shamrock, bottles of whisky, pint of Guinness and a Rolls Royce were laid on the altar.

More than a dozen silver Rolls Royces, each bearing the Irish tricolour, lined up outside the church and Mr Doherty's coffin was driven away in a silver Rolls Royce hearse, followed by a procession through north London.