Devastated Zoe Ball says 'sleep tight dear mama' as she announces her mother's death from cancer

24 April 2024, 10:56

Zoe Ball revealed her mother had died after a battle with cancer
Zoe Ball revealed her mother had died after a battle with cancer. Picture: Social Media/Alamy


Heartbroken radio host Zoe Ball has told of her devastation after her mother died following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

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The presenter's mother Julia Packham died after being diagnosed with the disease just one month ago.

Zoe wrote on X on Wednesday morning, "Sleep tight dear mama", alongside a photo of Julia.

In a tribute to her mother, she added: "Thank you for teaching us how to love unconditionally, to always show courage and empathy, and how, even in the darkest of days, laughter is the greatest of gifts."

She added: "We are bereft without you but will hold so tight to each other".

Ball had previously described the cancer diagnosis as an "extremely tough" time. She was taking time out from her radio show to care for her mother, and shared that she had been moved into hospice care last week as her condition worsened.

Fellow presenter Gaby Roslin, who has been covering Zoe's show, also shared a tribute when stepping in for her this morning.

Roslin told listeners: "Very sadly, Julia lost her fight yesterday, and we're all obviously sending so much love to Zoe and the whole family.

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"It's a horrible, awful time - and I know so many of you have been through this, loving a parent and a loved one, and I think the one thing I'd like to pass on is: grief has no rule. There are no rules about this at all."

Speaking to Zoe directly, she said: "Zoe, you know I have got your back - I'll always have your back. I love you dearly, you're a very dear friend and all of us on the team love you and send you so much love.

"And to anybody else who is fighting the fight and being as brave as they can be, I am sending you lots of love as well."

She concluded by playing Fleetwood Mac's 'Songbird'.

Ball's 23-year-old son Woody Cook, who she shares with her ex-husband Norman Cook, also known as British DJ Fatboy Slim, posted a tribute on Instagram saying: "Today I say goodbye to Granny J, thank you for being a wonderful woman."

Woody went on to reference his grandmother's late husband Rick Peckham, and said: "I know you're with Rick now, give him a hug from me. I know he said once when you were panicking in a helicopter over the Jungle 'If you get lost, follow the river!' You'll find him at the end."