Lauren Laverne has paid tribute to her mum Celia, following her death on Friday.
The presenter was part of the BBC’s presenting team for this year’s Glastonbury, but the broadcaster confirmed she had pulled out due to “personal reasons”.
The Desert Island Discs host said she was “utterly heartbroken” in a post shared on Instagram on Saturday morning.
“Yesterday I lost my Mam, Celia,” she wrote alongside a photo of her with her mum.
“She was the kindest, most compassionate and most tenacious person I have ever met. Born in the middle of nine kids, she was a master peacemaker and persuader.”
She continued: “She passed her 11+ and went to grammar school which changed our family’s direction forever. Met my Dad at 16 and loved him every day of her life. She ran the only reggae club night in the NE and told me that being young in the 60s felt like that line in Mr Tambourine Man “to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free”.
“She worked as a seamstress and a casino dancer (also making costumes for the troupe) to pay her way through college and became a wonderful teacher, eventually managing all Sunderland’s colleges.”
Lauren went on to recall her mum’s involvement in politics, adding: “Somewhere along the line she had me and my brother and got political (she once chased someone from the BNP down our garden path with a rolling pin in one hand and me in the other poor) protested at Greenham Common and eventually became a city councillor. She delighted in helping people knew, especially those who like her what it was like to grow up without.”
Ian West – PA Images via Getty Images
The presenter also paid tribute to her mum’s role as a mother and grandmother, continuing: “She had watched so many decades of history documentaries that when we met historian Michael Wood they chatted away like colleagues. She loved children and was the most devoted and adored mother and grandmother you could ever meet. But she also knew that mother is a verb as well as a noun and mothered so many others along the way who needed love and support throughout her life.
“She made connections wherever she went including with the incredible teams at UCLH who cared for her – and us – at the end of her life. Thank you to them for everything. We are all utterly heartbroken to lose her. She had just given the kids their Glastonbury spending money and was looking forward to watching Paulie (as he was always known in our house – her favorite Beatle) tonight.
“She’d been a fan ever since she saw him at the Sunderland Empire in 1963 (and later met him later with me – he was just lovely to her). Mom, I love you forever. Thank you for my fantastic life. I have no idea what I’m going to do without you, but I’m going to try to make it interesting and you will be in my heart, always XXX.”
I lost my mom yesterday. I posted a little bit about her on Instagram because I want to acknowledge her amazing life, so that’s there. Here I’d just like to thank my truly amazing family, friends and colleagues for their support – especially lately. X
— Lauren Laverne (@laurenlaverne) June 25, 2022
Sophie Ellis-Bextor was amongst those sending their love and support on social media, writing: “Your ma sounds like the most amazing woman. so sorry lauren Sending lots of love xxx.”
Lauren’s fellow Glastonbury presenter Clara Amfo wrote: “What a woman she was, what a woman you are. Sending you and the rest of the family infinite love.”
Lauren’s loss comes nearly four years after her dad passed away in 2018.
Other faces who will be presenting BBC’s Glastonbury coverage include Jo Whiley, Cerys Matthews and Jack Saunders.