Why Rolf Harris' death was kept secret for two weeks

Disgraced former entertainer Rolf Harris' death was kept secret for two weeks by his family so the convicted paedophile could have a dignified funeral, it has emerged.

Harris died from neck cancer at his UK home on May 10, aged 93.

However, the news of his death was not made public until late on Tuesday afternoon (UK time) and after he had been cremated.

UK paper The Telegraph reported a statement from the family said he had "recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest."

"They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made," the statement said. 

But it was reported that while a death certificate from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in London where Harris lived was dated May 23, the date of his death was listed as May 10.

It was revealed in October that Harris had become "gravely ill" with cancer since being released from prison in 2017 and was receiving around-the-clock care. He could no longer talk and had to be fed through a tube.

On May 18, a new UK documentary, Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight aired further shocking footage of Harris joking with deceased sex offender Jimmy Savile about leaving a young girl "safely" in his "capable hands."

The footage appears in ITVX show Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight, which publicity said tells "the extraordinary truth behind the rise and fall of former national treasure Rolf Harris using rare archive and exclusive testimony from those closest to the trial".

The documentary also featured several of Harris' accusers and is said to include "exclusive new testimony" as well as "the unseen evidence that led to his downfall".

The Telegraph also said in the final weeks of Harris' life, more sex abuse victims were continuing to come forward and accuse the former entertainer of molesting them.

In 2013, he was arrested as part of a UK police investigation into a series of sexual offences. He was also accused of making indecent images of children.

After standing trial in June 2014, Harris was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault against four teenage girls between 1968 and 1986.