The late funnywoman, who died last year (14) aged 81, is to be feted by the heads of Barnard College, the school she attended in Manhattan, during a glitzy event at the Plaza Hotel titled A Special Tribute to the Late Joan Rivers.

Rivers' daughter Melissa is expected to give a speech at the event on 7 May (15).

A spokeswoman for the college tells the New York Daily News, "We are very proud that Joan Rivers was a Barnard alumna and look forward to honouring her trailblazing career at this year's gala."