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2,000 expected at Sevenoaks funeral for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding's Billy and Joe Smith

Around 2,000 people are expected to descend on Sevenoaks this week for the funeral of twin brothers who were both found dead in woodland.

The bodies of Billy and Joe Smith were discovered together, hanged off Dibden Way, on the morning of December 28.

Joe and Billy Smith
Joe and Billy Smith

The brothers starred on Channel 4 TV show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and have inspired an outpouring of tributes in recent weeks.

On Friday, the pair will be laid to rest, despite earlier claims there were disagreements in the family about plans for their funeral arrangements.

In advance of the service, Sevenoaks District Council is delivering some 1,500 letters to residents in affected areas, while schools and community groups have also been kept informed.

Mourners are expected to gather in Julians Way from 10am for the funeral procession, which is likely to go via Oak Lane, Sevenoaks High Street and St Johns Hill to St John the Baptist Church, where the service will take place around 11.30am.

Friends and relatives will then make their way to Sevenoaks Cemetery in Seal Road, via Bat and Ball, for 1pm.

Joe and Billy Smith were found dead in Sevenoaks
Joe and Billy Smith were found dead in Sevenoaks

A council spokesman said: "There has been significant public and media interest in the funeral and there could be a large number of people paying their respects.

"There could be more traffic on the road and parking could be busier than usual in the lead up to and during the funeral. However, Sevenoaks town will remain open as usual.

"We are working with Kent Police and KCC Highways to make sure the funeral goes ahead respectfully while minimising the local impact, including keeping the traffic flowing and ensure safety on the roads."

Billy and Joe are said to have made it clear in their last moments, and in letters to loved ones before taking their own lives, that they were "right where we want to be" - by each other's side.

It is thought they had made a suicide pact after Joe discovered he had cancer and an inquest opening last month revealed a heartbreaking note had been left to relatives.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

Read more: All the latest news from Sevenoaks

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