‘Loveable’ and ‘funeral director’ aren’t words that sidle up to each other and make friends. I can think of a little handful of hugely loveable funeral directors, but that’s only because I hang out with a heck of a lot.
Up in Newcastle, Carl Marlow is one such. And what makes him loveable is not so much his warmth and zest, though he’s brimming with these. No, what makes your affections for Carl go the extra mile is his sheer naughtiness. It’s a very humane and serious species of naughtiness and it impels him to do things others would never think of.
Is he a genius? Yes, he is. Half saint, half scamp. The very best sort of saint.
He’s made it to today’s Sun with the story of a funeral only he could have suggested. All the mourners set off for the crem in a 49-seater coach with their dead person in the boot. Cheerful. And (don’t overlook this) cheap. Everyone together, not dispersed in ones and twos in cars and buses.