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Bernie Nolan funeral to be 'massive celebration'

Bernie Nolan pictured at the TV Choice Awards in London in 2011. Credit: PA

Family and friends of Bernie Nolan will gather at the theatre where she made her name to say goodbye to the singer and actress who died earlier this month.

The 52-year-old died after a long battle with cancer and will reportedly be buried with the ashes of her daughter, Kate, who was stillborn more than a decade ago.

Her sister Coleen told the Daily Mirror the ceremony at the Grand Theatre in their hometown of Blackpool would be "a massive celebration of her life".

She was initially given the all clear for breast cancer in 2010, but last year discovered it had spread to her brain, lungs, liver and bones.

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Celebrities pay tribute to 'courageous' Bernie Nolan

ITV presenter Phillip Schofield, actor Martin Kemp and former footballer Gary Lineker have tweeted:

Breast cancer charities 'devastated' by Nolan's death

Bernie was a truly inspirational woman who became a part of the Breakthrough family after her first breast cancer diagnosis in 2010. We were devastated to hear that her breast cancer had returned in 2012.

Her spirit and determination to try and fight the disease spurred us all on and will continue to do so. Our thoughts are with Bernie's husband, daughter, family and friends at this time.

– Chris Askew, chief executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer

This is a reminder of the devastating effect breast cancer can have and the need for more to be done to beat this disease.

– Baroness Morgan, Chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign

Bernie: 'Sod what people think - you are who you are'

Speaking after beginning her treatment for breast cancer in 2010, Bernie Nolan told ITV News that the illness had changed the way she looked at life.

"At lot of things are so less important in life now than they used to be," she said.

"You worry about how you look, what you think - I don't really care any more.

"I'm just who I am. That's why tonight I've come out without a wig to say to all those people out there who have the same illness as me: You do what you want.

"If you want to go bald, go for it. Sod what people think. You are who you are."

Bernie Nolan's three-year cancer fight

Bernie Nolan after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Credit: Empics

Singer Bernie Nolan was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2010.

She received the all-clear in 2012 after a mastectomy and extensive chemotherapy.

But later that year her cancer returned, having spread to her bones, brain, liver and lungs.

Her husband Steve finished her memoir Now and Forever in early 2013 when she became too ill to finish the book.

She died peacefully on Thursday morning surrounded by family members, a spokesman said.

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Bernie Nolan's husband discusses singer's memoir

Bernie Nolan's husband Steve pictured on ITV's Lorraine in May this year. Credit: ITV Lorraine

In May this year, Bernie Nolan's husband Steve talked to ITV's Lorraine programme about her memoir Now and Forever.

Steve finished writing the book when Bernie became too ill to complete it at the beginning of 2013.

"Everyone loves Bernie," he said at the time. "It's difficult not to. She's such a wonderful girl."

Bernie Nolan dies after battle with cancer

Bernie Nolan pictured at a ball in 2011. Credit: Empics

Bernie Nolan, one of the members of the pop group The Nolans, has died at the age of 52.

A spokesman for the family said: "Bernie passed away peacefully this morning with all of her family around her.

"The entire family are devastated to have lost beloved Bernie, a wonderful wife, adoring mother and loving sister, she is irreplaceable.

"They kindly ask people to respect their privacy at this difficult time."

Bernie Nolan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.