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It's Van: the mam

Mrs Morrison looking forward to seeing her superstar son's new baby

Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

The mother of legendary Ulster rocker Van Morrison says she can't wait for her first glimpse of his new baby boy.

Vi Morrison - who will be 86 on Monday - also admitted she doesn't yet know her latest grandchild's name.

Northern Ireland's favourite musical son, affectionately known as Van the Man, became a father again three weeks ago, at the age of 62.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, charming Mrs Morrison, from east Belfast, said that it felt great to be a granny again - for the third time.

"I haven't seen the baby yet. I don't know his name," she said.

"I last saw my son three or four weeks ago. We're close. I miss him."

The new arrival is Van's second child with his 45-year-old partner Michelle Rocca, who is a former Miss Ireland. The couple had their first - a daughter called Aibhe Rocca Morrison - in 2006.

The former Them frontman has a daughter Shana (38), with his former wife Janet Rigsby. The couple divorced in 1973.

Mrs Morrison - who helped launch Specsavers Grandparent of the Year 2008 competition - also revealed her close relationship with her eldest granddaughter.

"I used to tell Shana about my life as a child in Belfast," she said.

"I was a singer and tapdancer donkeys years ago. I danced at (Belfast's famous music hall) the Empire with a chorus.

"Grandparents should give their grandchildren advice if they ask for it, otherwise not."

News that she was a grandmother again came from San Francisco, where Shana, a singer songwriter, resides.

"She called me. I'm very close to Shana. That would be her baby brother, " Mrs Morrison said.

"He hasn't called me yet. He usually just drops in when he's over here performing."

The engaging celebrity grandmother admitted that she had written a poem predicting fame and fortune for her celebrity son.

"I wrote a poem when has was about four, saying he was going to be a genius," she said.

"He was singing at such an early age, before most children could even speak. But he was sort of a quiet child."

Having a famous son is not without its drawbacks however and Mrs Morrison said that it can sometimes create problems.

"I can't live a normal life," she said.

"People stop me in the street. One woman stopped me to ask for money.

"I can't have a meal in a restaurant without someone coming over and asking me when he's next home."

Today is National Grandparent's Day. Local charity Age Concern and Specsavers have launched a UK-wide search for super grans and granddads in a bid to find the Grandparent of the Year 2008.

To nominate your grandparent, please visit your local Specsavers store or Age Concern centre to pick up a nomination form.

Alternatively, you can email Closing date for entries is Friday, November 30, 2007.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph