Lauren Laverne pulls out of Glastonbury after her mother dies

By Mark Savage
BBC Music Correspondent

  • Published
Lauren Laverne and mother CeliaImage source, Lauren Laverne

Broadcaster Lauren Laverne says she is "utterly heartbroken" by the death of her mother, Celia Gofton.

The 6 Music presenter announced the news on Instagram, calling her mum "the kindest, most compassionate and most tenacious person I have ever met".

Laverne has pulled out of presenting coverage of the Glastonbury festival this weekend.

She said her mum had been looking forward to seeing Paul McCartney's headline slot on Saturday night.

"She'd been a fan ever since she saw him at the Sunderland Empire in 1963," she wrote, "and later met him later with me - he was just lovely to her".

In a long and moving tribute, Laverne said her mother had been the middle of nine children, and had worked as a seamstress and a casino dancer to pay for teacher training college.

She continued: "Met my Dad at 16 and loved him every day of her life. She ran the only reggae club night in the Northeast 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'."

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Laverne described her mother's strong political beliefs, saying she had been part of the Greenham Common movement, which protested against US nuclear missiles being sited in Berkshire, and later became a Labour city councillor in Sunderland.

"She once chased someone from the BNP down our garden path with a rolling pin in one hand and me in the other arm," the Desert Island Discs presenter recalled.

She added that her mother had "loved children" and was "adored" by her children and grandchildren.

"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 said.

"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.

"Mam, I love you forever."

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