FREDDIE Starr's body has been returned to the UK.

The comic, who died aged 76 two weeks ago, had been feared to be destined for an unmarked grave in Spain after it was reported none of his family had claimed his body.

But Sheffield-based funeral director Michael Fogg stepped in after reading a Sun article, offering to help with the repatriation costs and to organise the funeral.

Last night, he confirmed the former entertainer's body had been returned to the UK, with funeral plans now being put in place.

Writing on Facebook last night, the funeral director said: "Seven days ago today we was in contact with Freddie Starr's family and told them it would be a privilege and a honour To repatriate and conduct the funeral for one of England's best loved comedians.

"At 18 00 hours today the first part of this promise is completed, we have repatriated Freddie Starr from Spain to Michael Fogg Family Funeral Directors in Sheffield.

"We as a family would like to thank each and every one of you who have posted messages on our Facebook page.

"The funeral details will be posted on our page at a later date."

The 54-year-old had first made the offer to repatriate Freddie after Starr's long-term companion Nelly Georgieva said no one had claimed his body, and the comic remained in a hospital morgue days after his death on May 9 this year.

A basic Spanish funeral costs around £2,800 and Nelly would be unable to afford the bill.

Mr Fogg last week told The Sun Online: "I thought 'there's no way that this should be and that this family should be in this position'. The main thing is to get Freddie back home.

"I couldn't bear the thought of his family being in turmoil at him being over there."

Funerals in Spain usually take place 24 hours after formalities have taken place, and if no one claims his body or pays for a funeral he will be cremated by the hospital and his ashes left in a public cemetery.

The grave would be unmarked, with just a serial number.

Starr had moved to the Costa Del Sol in the wake of historic sex claims, and having lost a large chunk of his fortune.

A post-mortem carried out at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Malaga confirmed the heart attack theory as his cause of death.

Police sources said he was believed to have died of natural causes. There were no suspicious circumstances.

The entertainer was one of the biggest stars of the 1970s, '80s and '90s after being discovered on Opportunity Knocks.

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