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Heartbreak for Zoe Salmon as she lays her beloved mother to rest

By Lisa Smyth

Published 12/09/2016

Friends and family arriving for Mrs Salmon’s funeral service in Bangor
Friends and family arriving for Mrs Salmon’s funeral service in Bangor
Zoe Salmon arriving for the funeral service hand-in-hand with dad Joe
Mrs Salmon’s coffin
Zoe Salmon with mum Priscilla

The mother of former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon has been laid to rest on what would have been her 71st birthday.

Hundreds of family and friends turned out to pay their respects to Priscilla Salmon, who passed away peacefully at her home in Bangor last Tuesday after an illness.

A devastated Zoe supported her grieving father Joe as they arrived at S Clarke & Son Funeral Church in Bangor, Co Down, for the emotional service on Saturday. Mrs Salmon is survived by her husband and children Lara, Zoe, Naomi and Julian.

The sun shone as Mrs Salmon's coffin arrived in a hearse and was carried inside the building shortly before 1pm, while colourful floral tributes were laid on the ground at the entrance to the church.

Members of the family waited at the door and were seen embracing and talking to mourners ahead of the service.

They emerged into the sunshine an hour later and spent some time hugging and chatting as the cortege began its journey to Mrs Salmon's final resting place at Lisburn New Cemetery.

Her coffin, which was draped in a large arrangement of pink lilies, was carried a short distance along the Newtownards Road by her husband and other family and friends, while Zoe, dressed in a black dress, and one of her sisters captured the heartbreaking moment on their mobile phones.

Zoe (36), who was crowned Miss Northern Ireland in 1999, has spoken in the past of her close relationship with her mum and even revealed the pair were frequently mistaken for sisters.

"Everyone always says the same about their mum - but my mum is the best," she said in one interview.

"What I love about my mum is that she is the opposite of me - she is very quiet and patient.

"I'm always on the go and it's so refreshing that she is so normal. She is a real breath of fresh air. Everyone says I look like my mum."

Heartbreak for the Salmon family came just five months after they celebrated Zoe's marriage to her long-term love in May. The model turned actress eloped to the Carribean with Newtownards butcher William Corrie after shunning a traditional white wedding at home.

Speaking after her wedding, Zoe said: "I can't wait to get home and tell everyone.

"I didn't even tell my mum and dad, although running off to get married does run in the family, so they will be thrilled for us.

"We'll have a big party when we get home, I'm sure of that," she added.

Zoe, a patron of Action Cancer, was still active on social media until Tuesday, when she posted a video promoting a fundraising event for the charity.

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