Zoe Ball: BBC Radio 2 presenter 'bereft' as her mother Julia Peckham dies following cancer diagnosis

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The Radio 2 presenter announced in early March that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer and that she would be taking some time from her show to care for her

BBC Radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball has said that she has been left “bereft” following the death of her mother.

The radio star previously announced in early March that her mother Julia Peckham had been diagnosed with cancer, saying at the time: "Heartbreakingly our beautiful Mama Julia has been diagnosed with cancer. These are extremely tough times, mum is being incredibly brave. Sending out love to people reading this battling cancer, awaiting diagnosis & also to folk looking after their dear ones who are poorly."

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Julia was later moved to a hospice to receive care and in a heartbreaking update, Ball, 53, confirmed that she had passed away from the illness. She said in a post on social media featuring a young picture of her mother: “Sleep tight dear Mama.

“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. We are bereft without you but will hold so tight to each other.”

Upon announcing her mother’s diagnosis, Ball said that there would be times she would need to step back from her popular Radio 2 breakfast show, with presenter Gaby Roslin occasionally stepping in for her. It is as of yet unknown whether she will take more time off following Julia’s death.

Woody Cook, Julia’s grandson and the son of Zoe Ball and ex-husband Norman Cook - better known as British DJ Fatboy Slim - posted his own tribute. The 23-year-old, who starred in Channel 4’s reality show The Circle in 2019, said: “Today I say goodbye to Granny J, thank you for being a wonderful woman.”

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He added that her late husband, Rick Peckham, was with her now, saying: “The only person who always sent me a valentines card. 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.”

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