TV stars and other celebrities are set to gather at the funeral of former EastEnders actor Mike Reid in Essex today.

The 67-year-old comedian and actor, best known for playing Frank ButCher in the BBC soap, died of a sudden heart attack on July 29th.

His agent, David Hann, said that Barbara Windsor, Frank Carson, Russ Abbot and Sid Owen would all be attending the ceremony.

The funeral will take place at the Little Easton Paris Church and the wake will commence at a nearby converted barn.

Mr Han said: "Mike was a people's person. He loved the working man in the street. Mike always said to me, 'it's those people who put me where I am today'.

"I knew Mike was a popular man but I never in a million years expected him to be as popular as this. I've had over 2,000 e-mails expressing condolences."

He added that Reid's widow, 69-year-old Shirley, was "numb" with grief over the actor's death.

"Shirley has not just lost a husband, she has also lost her best friend. He doted on her and he was her rock," he said.

"Mike was 6ft 3in and she is a petite lady but, to Mike, she was the biggest person in the world."

14/08/2007 11:03:18