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Carol Vorderman has shared a heartbreaking tribute to her mum Jean, almost seven years after she died from cancer – and revealed it was her who got her on Countdown.   

The Welsh broadcaster, 63, took to Instagram on Sunday to share a picture of her and Jean taken on Mother’s Day in 2017, just two months before she passed away.  

Carol’s mother – who was known as Jean, but her real name is Edwina – battled three different forms of cancer over her final 12 years – skin cancer and kidney cancer, as well as having an ovarian tumour removed.

In a Mother’s Day tribute, the TV presenter revealed that after splitting from her stephfather, she and her mother were effectively homeless so the pair moved to Leeds where they could afford to buy a small house together.

Just three weeks later, Jean saw an advert for someone to read out the numbers on the new Channel 4 show countdown and forged her daughter’s signature. ‘And that’s how I started on telly,’ Carol said.

Carol Vorderman shared a heartbreaking tribute to her mum Jean on Instagram on Sunday, almost seven years after she died from cancer

Carol Vorderman shared a heartbreaking tribute to her mum Jean on Instagram on Sunday, almost seven years after she died from cancer

The Welsh broadcaster, 63, shared a picture of her and her mother taken on Mother's Day in 2017, just two months before she passed away - and one month after receiving a terminal diagnosis

The Welsh broadcaster, 63, shared a picture of her and her mother taken on Mother’s Day in 2017, just two months before she passed away – and one month after receiving a terminal diagnosis

In the picture shared by Carol of Jean’s last Mother’s Day, the former Countdown star donned a bright yellow blouse, while her mother wore a white shirt and blazer. 

Carol revealed in her post that her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer just three months before she died. 

‘Mum and I were very close,’ Carol captioned her heartwrenching post. ‘She had to bring us up by herself in poverty and I was always her baby. 

‘Mum and I were very close. She had to bring us up by herself in poverty and I was always her baby. My brother Anton and sister Trixie were older than me. 

‘My mum and father (Mr Vorderman) had been married for years, they separated when I was 2 weeks old and he then would have nothing to do with me…I eventually met him when I was 42 years old.’

Carol went on to say that when her mother remarried, she called her stepfather ‘Dad’ and ‘adored him’. She said her mother and he separated a few time over 10 years.

‘She would take me and run away, including once to Billy Smarts Circus when I was 9!!!’ Carol explained. 

‘Mum and I came as a team. When she left my “Dad” for good when I was 20, we were effectively homeless (I was living in a B&B and she had a room in a house with students), so we moved north to Leeds where between us we could afford to live, and buy a little house in 1982 in Headingley.

‘Three weeks later she saw an article about a new TV show being made In Leeds called Countdown and it was go out on a new TV channel called Channel 4….and they needed someone to answer the numbers game! She wrote to the producer as if she was me and then FORGED MY SIGNATURE!!!! And that’s how I started on telly.’

Carol revealed in her post that her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer just three months before she died

Carol revealed in her post that her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer just three months before she died

Carol's mother - who was known as Jean, but her real name is Edwina - battled three different forms of cancer over her final 12 years - skin cancer and kidney cancer, as well as having an ovarian tumour removed

Carol’s mother – who was known as Jean, but her real name is Edwina – battled three different forms of cancer over her final 12 years – skin cancer and kidney cancer, as well as having an ovarian tumour removed

Heartbreaking: Her own mum passed away in 2017 after suffering from three types of cancer - the last of which was melanoma

Heartbreaking: Her own mum passed away in 2017 after suffering from three types of cancer – the last of which was melanoma

Carol (seen in 1984) wrote: 'Three weeks later she saw an article about a new TV show being made In Leeds called Countdown and it was go out on a new TV channel called Channel 4....and they needed someone to answer the numbers game! She wrote to the producer as if she was me and then FORGED MY SIGNATURE!!!! And that's how I started on telly'

Carol (seen in 1984) wrote: ‘Three weeks later she saw an article about a new TV show being made In Leeds called Countdown and it was go out on a new TV channel called Channel 4….and they needed someone to answer the numbers game! She wrote to the producer as if she was me and then FORGED MY SIGNATURE!!!! And that’s how I started on telly’

Carol added: ‘Mum always lived with me through my adult life…through my marriage and through everything, either next door or in our house. So she helped to bring up my children. I employed her from when I was 25 years old to run my office. 

‘She was my everyday until she wasn’t. But even now it’s like she’s still there as she lives on in my children too. Happy Mother’s Day Mum xx ❤️.’ 

In July 2023, Carol revealed she had a terrifying cancer scare herself. 

She became concerned after noticing changes in her skin and after getting her skin biopsied she discovered that a few of the skin cells were pre-cancerous. 

Speaking to Boots, who teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to champion sun safety, Carol shared her experience to raise awareness. 

She said: ‘When I got to my late forties, I could see there were little bits on my skin which were irregular so I went to a dermatologist. 

‘[I had] a biopsy and a couple of them were pre-cancerous. You hear that word and it’s very frightening.’

Carol (seen with her daughter Katie), said of her mother: 'She was my everyday until she wasn't. But even now it's like she's still there as she lives on in my children too'

Carol (seen with her daughter Katie), said of her mother: ‘She was my everyday until she wasn’t. But even now it’s like she’s still there as she lives on in my children too’

‘Not a single time in her life did she sunbathe – my mum had a different skin to me, she had moles, I don’t,’ Carol said. ‘I know that makes you much more prone to melanomas.

She added: ‘With what I’ve gone through, protecting my skin, then my mum with the melanoma then dying, it’s really important to me and my family [to support] what Boots are doing to help customers to keep safe in the sun.

‘Always wear a hat, always slather yourself in SPF 50, check yourself and if there’s anything that you find get it checked as soon as possible.’

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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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