Hundreds are expected to attend the funeral of a colourful Merton man who was greatly loved in the showbiz world and beyond.

Dwarf Lenny Fowler, known as Lenny the Giant, most recently lived in Marlborough Road, Colliers Wood.

He died unexpectedly after collapsing last month at the age of 51.

A born performer, Lenny decided to pursue his dream when he grew miserable as a teenager working on a factory floor in New Malden.

He went on to enjoy a varied career in entertainment, and his CV includes stints as a clown, an Elvis impersonator, and a missile in the sport of dwarf throwing.

Big-hearted Lenny also raised more than £40,000 for charity through performing.

A huge fan of rock and roll, he belonged to diminuitive band the Vertigoes, and played guitar in the campaign band for the Monster Raving Loony Party's flamboyant leader Screaming Lord Sutch.

At just 4ft 4in, Lenny used his small stature to his advantage, and was a successful entry on the books of the Ugly Model Agency, where gigs include photos in Bizarre magazine and a part in E4 series Fonejacker.

He was a key player in cabaret and burlesque act Flash Monkey, which performed at the Cafe de Paris.

Audiences were frequently impressed by the powerful flames Lenny produced as a fire-breathing sultan.

Director David Wilson said: "He was a natural entertainer. He genuinely wanted to affect people in a good way and make them happy.

"He won everyone over with his personality, and had the perfect balance of being rock and roll tough, but also super sweet, generous and warm."

Born in India, Lenny was the youngest of nine children, and came to England at the age of nine.

Recently, he enjoyed spending time with his brother Robin, teaching guitar to Robin's two children.

Before he died, Lenny said he wanted his funeral to be similar to that of his friend, Screaming Lord Sutch.

A white cadillac hearse is due to carry the black coffin, decorated with red guitars, to the service at St Boniface Church in Tooting tomorrow.

Lenny, whose mother died in March, is to be buried with both his parents at London Road Cemetery.

Sister Rita Quinnen said: "He lived life to the full right up to the end, and this is the spirit in which we will all remember him."