Lauren Laverne pulls out of BBC Glastonbury role after mother’s death

The BBC presenter Lauren Laverne has pulled out of covering Glastonbury festival after the death of her mother.

Laverne, who had been on site at Worthy Farm for the BBC, said on Instagram that she was “utterly heartbroken” after the death of her mother Celia on Friday.

“Yesterday I lost my Mam, Celia. She was the kindest, most compassionate and most tenacious person I have ever met,” she wrote.

“Born in the middle of nine kids, she was a master peacemaker and persuader.

“She passed her 11+ and went to grammar school which changed our family’s direction for ever.

“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.

“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 arm) protested at Greenham Common and eventually became a city councillor.”

The Desert Island Discs host also said her mother delighted in helping people and thanked the teams at University College London hospital who cared for her at the end of her life.

“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.

“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 favourite 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).

“Mam, 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.”

Laverne also thanked her “truly astounding” family, friends and colleagues for their support on Twitter.

Celebrity friends including Tom Grennan, Fearne Cotton, Lenny Henry and Sophie Ellis-Bextor were among those to post messages of condolence on social media.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Understandably, Lauren Laverne will no longer be presenting from Glastonbury this weekend. Our thoughts are with Lauren and her family at this difficult time.”

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