The only son of radio personality Geordie Tuft has paid tribute to his father as “a true character” during his funeral service yesterday.
At the 2pm service at Aghaderg Parish Church, Loughbrickland, Mr Tuft’s son Eddie said his father’s “biggest passions” were “nature, the countryside and his animals”.
Mr Tuft, 75, was found dead after a house fire at his Co Down farmhouse on March 1.
More than 100 mourners attended the service including BBC Radio Ulster presenter Sean Coyle, BBC producer Michael Bradley and UUP MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.
In the tribute to his father, Mr Tuft said that he “had a gift with animals and could make them feel quite human”.
“The two animals that were with him to the end were Stanley the goat who would push open the half door and wander into the house, and Rusty the dog who shared the same bed with Geordie and kept an eye on him,” he said.
He added that his father “loved the peacefulness of the countryside but he also loved the craic he would get from the Gerry Anderson Show, sitting with his special cuppa with the little nip”.
“The chat would be flowing as his fans asked lots of questions and he would reply with his years and years of knowledge.”
A number of the late Mr Tuft’s favourite animals were also mentioned by his son including “Bin Ladin the one-eyed pony, Stanley the turkey, Hooch the pot belly pig, Heidi the donkey and Jack the ferret who is famous for going on Children in Need at the Rickety Wheel”.
“There was also Martha the goose and not forgetting Billy the goat who starred in a film. He also loved his dogs Tiny, Lady and Rusty.
“He often said Tiny was not racist; he bit everyone. Geese and chickens were also in the family.”
Mr Tuft was later buried in Aghaderg Parish Church cemetery.
“He is a big loss for us and we can barely believe it is true,” added his son.