Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan died in January 2016 after a short battle with cancerGetty

Sir Terry Wogan's funeral has taken place in the presence of family and close friends. The private service on 9 February was low-key, in keeping with the family's requests for privacy.

The service took place in England rather than his native Ireland and is expected to be followed by a public memorial. The veteran broadcaster died on 31 January, aged 77. He was surrounded by his family "after a short but brave battle with cancer", a statement said.

Sir Terry only realised the extent of his illness three weeks before he died, a close friend of the TV and radio personality revealed earlier. Priest Brian D'Arcy, who knew Sir Terry for 40 years and presented Pause for Thought on his breakfast show for nearly 20 years, was at his bedside in his final days.

Speaking on Irish radio he explained that, with thousands of people wanting to pay their respects to the much-loved broadcaster, it would not be practical to have a public funeral. "How can you have a public funeral for Terry Wogan? Where would you put it? Wembley wouldn't be big enough for it, so there will probably be just family and friends at a private funeral."

Fans and friends of the star including Sir Ian Botham, Chris Evans, Richard Madeley, Eammon Holmes and Phillip Schofield have expressed their shock at the news of his passing. Prime Minister David Cameron described Sir Terry as "someone millions came to feel was their own special friend".

Dame Esther Rantzen has called for a permanent memorial to be erected at the BBC in honour of Sir Terry. The presenter said a statue of the TV and radio personality would be a fitting tribute.

"Eric Morecambe has got a fabulous statue in Morecambe Bay and I think a Wogan statue in [his hometown] Limerick or on the roof of Broadcasting House , where he claimed the nymphs used to dance, would be fitting. We all thought he was immortal. And I think he will be," she said.

Sir Terry, whose career spanned more than four decades, was known for his work on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, Children In Need and the Eurovision Song Contest. He was last on air on BBC Radio 2 just under three months ago, on Sunday November 8. Days later was forced to pull out of presenting Children In Need at the last minute due to health issues.

Father D'Arcy was thought to be amongst the guests at the funeral service, along with Sir Terry's wife Helen and his children Alan, Mark and Katherine.