Stars celebrate life of Woodward

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Barbara Windsor, Simon Pegg and June Whitfield were among the stars who celebrated the life and work of the late actor Edward Woodward and the "love and laughter" which surrounded him.

Clips from some of Woodward's best-known roles, in smash hit TV series The Equalizer, occult classic The Wicker Man, and in Simon's recent police movie send-up Hot Fuzz, were shown to Woodward's family, friends and fans.

The veteran actor, who clocked up more than 2,000 television appearances, died in November at the age of 79.

Simon told how he remembered watching Woodward in spy series Callan as a boy, saying: "I remember thinking: could Edward Woodward be any cooler?"

He said he later went to a special screening of Callan put on by Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino.

Simon said: "I remember thinking: yes, Edward Woodward is even cooler."

Tributes were also read at the ceremony by Coronation Street actor Anthony Valentine, Woodward's Callan co-star, and EastEnders stars Barbara and Rudolph Walker.

Woodward recently joined EastEnders for a short stint playing Tommy Clifford.

Barbara, who starred alongside Woodward in a play when she was aged 17, said: "He gave me some great notes when I was 17 years old, I'll tell you."

Whitfield told how she and Woodward had found humour filming the TV series Common as Muck on a bitterly windy Morecambe beach. She said: "Because of Edward's wonderful sense of humour we laughed our way through and discussed the glamour of filming."

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