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Zoe Ball reveals her mum's cancer diagnosis amid break from radio show

Gaby Roslin has been sitting in for the BBC radio presenter

Zoe Ball attends the National Television Awards held at The O2 Arena on January 22, 2019
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
6 March 2024
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Zoe Ball was flooded by support from her fans as she took to Instagram on Wednesday to share the news that her mum Julia Anderson has been diagnosed with cancer. 

Sharing a photo of her extended family with Julia at the centre followed by an image of the older woman smiling as she received chemotherapy.

The DJ wrote a heartfelt message, which began: "Heartbreakingly our beautiful Mama Julia has been diagnosed with Cancer. As many of you know from experience, these are extremely tough times. Mum is being incredibly brave." 

The star shared the shock news on Instagram
View post on Instagram

Zoe went on: "My brother Jamie & I are completely in awe of the brilliant Doctors, Nurses & support teams looking after Mum. Thank you [heart emoji, praying emoji]. 

"Gratitude to our families & our extended family & friends at home & at work for their support at this time. "Sending out love to people reading this who are battling cancer, or awaiting diagnosis & also to the folk looking after their dear ones who are poorly. 

zoe ball covid© Rex
The star is very close to her family

"I'm trying to be at work on breakfast as often as I can but occasionally need to be home with my Mama. Thanks to Gaby for stepping in. Lots of love [heart emoji]." 

The star's many fans rushed to the comments section to share their well wishes for her mother, who was married to Zoe's father, presenter Johnny Ball until their daughter was two years old.

Zoe Ball© Getty
Zoe will be taking some time off from her show

The star's many fans rushed to the comments section to share their well wishes for her mother, who was married to Zoe's father, presenter Johnny Ball, until their daughter was two years old. 

Johnny is a veteran TV star, best known for children's TV programmes Johnny Ball Reveals All and Knowhow, and he and ex-wife Julia welcomed Zoe in Blackpool in November 1970. 

zoe ball dad johnny© Getty
The star with TV star dad Johnny

Zoe has been an industry professional for three decades herself but she actually made her first ever television appearance alongside her father when she was just a child and joined him on the 1980s Saturday morning children's show, Saturday Superstore

After Zoe established herself as a name in the industry thanks to her stints on SMart and The Big Breakfast as well as her time hosting the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she began dating DJ and musician Norman Cook, known by his stage name of Fatboy Slim. 

zoe ball norman cook© Getty
With her ex-husband, Norman Cooke

After a whirlwind romance, the pair tied the knot at Babington House in Somerset in August 1999 and experienced some bumps in their relationship. In 2003, the couple temporarily split up after Zoe revealed that she had had an affair. 

They later reconciled but announced they were separating for good in 2016 after 18 years of marriage. While together, they welcomed two children together: Woody, 23, and 14-year-old Nelly – and Woody has since become something of a TV star himself. 

zoe ball with son woody© Instagram
With son Woody when he was younger

Back in 2019, he appeared on the second series of Channel 4 reality show The Circle and gained a huge following thanks to his sweet nature and friendship with the other finalists. 

Zoe went on to find love again following her split from the Praise You hitmaker, first dating her TV cameraman boyfriend Billy Yates, who sadly died in 2017, before going on to meet and move in with model Michael Reed, although the pair have since split.

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