THE ashes of David Gest have been scattered in an emotional York ceremony in accordance with his final wishes, his best friend has confirmed.

The entertainer's ashes were scattered from the top of Clifford's Tower following a ceremony attended by a 20-strong group of family and friends, including David's sister Barbara Gerber.

Guests released white doves and balloons from the tower as part of the ceremony, held earlier this month after the historic attraction had closed for the day.

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The site - just metres away from his apartment in the city centre - was chosen as David had specified in his will that he wanted his ashes to be scattered in the city.

Imad Handi, David's best friend and co-producer, said: "He said that in his estate if he passed away he just wanted somewhere nice in York. We decided it was a peaceful place."

The group carried out a short service led by a pastor at the top of the tower and his sister delivered a reading, Imad said.

His ashes were tipped over the edge of the tower onto the grass below.

David, 62, a producer and reality star, died in a hotel in London last month.

He had previously spoken at length of his love for the history and sense of permanence and heritage York offered.

"He found York very peaceful," Imad said, "From when he came to England he loved York, we're going back to 2006 when he first visited York.

"David was very educated and he loved history - he loved the buildings in York. He felt comfortable there. He loved the quirky little shops and the hog roast.

"He found the people of York so warm and welcoming."

Imad added that David's favourite restaurants in the UK, and which he often talked about, were the hog roast in Goodramgate and Russells carvery in Coppergate.

The scattering of David's ashes on Sunday, May 15, following his funeral in Golders Green in London. "It was very emotional and we had quite a few people come down from York," Imad said, "He had friends from all walks of life, not celebrities or millionaires, just normal people he had made friends with. They were true friends."

He said David would have wanted the David Gest Is Not Dead, But Alive With Soul tour to go ahead.

The tour - now due to be produced in tribute by Imad - is going ahead in his honour, starting at York Barbican on July 1.

A spokesperson for English Heritage said: “We were approached by David Gest’s family who asked if they could scatter his ashes from the top of Clifford’s Tower in a small, private memorial. As he was an adopted son of York, we thought it an appropriate thing to do for his family.”

- The tour also takes in Hull City Hall on July 4. York tickets can be booked on 0844 854 2757 or at; Hull, 01482 300300 or