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Stephen Hawking’s memorial service to be held at Westminster Abbey

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The physicist was a fellow at Cambridge University for more than 50 years

A memorial service for renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking is due to be held at Westminster Abbey.

During the ceremony his ashes will be buried alongside other great scientists like Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

The service on Friday will feature readings from people including Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a BBC drama, and astronaut Tim Peake.

Professor Hawking died in March, aged 76, after a long battle with motor neurone disease.

25,000 applications

His words have also been set to an original score by composer Vangelis, which will be beamed into space towards the nearest black hole after the service.

An address will be given by Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, and Hawking’s collaborator and Nobel prize winner Kip Thorne will give a tribute.

One thousand members of the public, from more than 100 countries, have been offered the opportunity to attend the 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.

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Getty Images

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Professor Hawking’s life story was made into a film starring Eddie Redmayne

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Stephen Hawking Foundation

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Copies of the CD of the Vangelis composition will be given to all guests at the service

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