1. ITV Report

Professor Hawking’s words beamed into space after Westminster Abbey service

Professor Stephen Hawking (Joe Giddens/PA) Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

Professor Stephen Hawking’s voice will be beamed into space as his ashes are interred at Westminster Abbey on Friday.

The late scientist’s words have been set to an original piece of music, composed by Vangelis, for the Service of Thanksgiving, and offer a message of peace and hope, Prof Hawking’s daughter said.

The broadcast in space is set to take place following a service which will feature readings and addresses from a number of people including Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the physicist in a BBC drama, and astronaut Tim Peake.

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Prof Hawking’s children have expressed their gratitude to Westminster Abbey for allowing their father to have a “distinguished” final resting place between the graves of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

His daughter Lucy described the Vangelis composition as a “beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father’s presence on this planet, his wish to go into space and his explorations of the universe in his mind”.

She added: “The broadcast will be beamed towards the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star.

“It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet.”

One thousand members of the public, from more than 100 countries, have been offered the opportunity to attend the thanksgiving service, after a ballot attracted 25,000 applications for tickets.

Guests will be welcomed by volunteers from the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympic Games.