Belfast Telegraph

Home Woman Life

Gloria Hunniford: After losing Caron my son had to remind me I had two kids who needed me

by maureen coleman

Presenter Gloria Hunniford has told she was so devastated about the death of her daughter Caron Keating that her son was forced to remind her she had two other children who needed her.

The veteran broadcaster broke down as she revealed to Piers Morgan how she thought she would spend summer with Caron, only to lose her within hours of her latest treatment for cancer.

She also told how herself and fellow presenter Sean Rafferty had been put on a death list.

And she admitted it was difficult when Caron's husband Russ Lindsay remarried, describing him as still "like a son" to her.

Gloria's own son, Michael Keating, told Morgan: "Mum was just in the depths of despair for so long. I remember talking with her one day and she said: 'I will never, ever laugh or smile again'. I said to her: 'You do have two other children, and we need you'."

Talking about Caron's seven-year battle with cancer, Gloria said: "You've got to remember that the seven years weren't all down moments. A lot of them were up when she'd beaten it – 'it's gone away, I'm clear' – and so we all had to tap into that.

"Even when she was being driven home, I can remember being so excited. Nervous and excited at the same time. Getting the bed ready and trying to get food that might appeal to her, but thinking to myself: 'She's coming home. And she's going to be home. She's going to be in Cornwall, where her house was, and we'll have her for the whole summer'."

But the young mother-of-two and former Blue Peter presenter, passed away just eight hours later.

Gloria said: "They got into bed and Caron was very dignified, always a very dignified person, and, at that point, the only person she would let near her in terms of undressing, was Russell, her husband. And eventually Russ said: 'You can come in'.

"And so, I got to kiss her goodnight at that point. And sadly she lost that battle at a quarter past six that evening."

When asked how she felt about Caron's husband marrying weather girl Sally Meen two years after Caron's death, Gloria said she hadn't snubbed the wedding, that it was never her intention to go.

She said: "Russ and I had agreed that it would be very difficult for both of us, after all that we had been through.

"We're very close, he's like a son to me, still is.

"It would have been very difficult for him to have me sitting there and equally difficult for me to sit watching him and my grandchildren walking down.

"It wasn't that I refused to go to the wedding, it was never on the cards. And also, we had our own private family wedding dinner with Russ and Sally and the children there, we did it privately."

The Portadown-born presenter also spoke of how she once was targeted on a death list, along with presenter Sean Rafferty.

She said: "We used to do a programme for BFBS in Germany, a guy called Sean Rafferty and myself. We used to go to meet the Rear Party in Germany.

"So in other words, the soldiers would be in Northern Ireland and we would go to meet the families.

"I gather that the death list was because, at that stage, we were doing programmes with the British Army and so we looked at each other and we said: 'Do you know what, we've been doing this now for 11 years, so we might as well just carry on'. We carried on."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph