Zoe Ball breaks down in tears on air over Olivia Newton-John's death ‘She was wonderful’


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Zoe Ball was left emotional on Tuesday morning as she came to terms with the death of legendary singer and actress, Olivia Newton-John. The iconic star died on Monday following a battle with breast cancer which spanned on-and-off for 30 years.

On her BBC Radio Two breakfast show, Zoe played Magic from the 1980 film Xanadu.

After the track had finished, Zoe’s voice started to break as she struggled to get her words out.

The presenter blubbed: “I’m so sorry, but that has really made me cry.” 

Zoe tried to fight through her tears to read some heart-rending tributes from her viewers. 

Lynn wrote in saying: “I’m heartbroken. She was such a big part of my youth.”

Christian added: “She was my teenage sweetheart, so sad.”

And Mark echoed: “Thanks for reminding me of this song Zoe. The words in this song somehow are more meaningful and special this morning,” To which Zoe agreed: “I know Mark, I think that is why it’s making me cry.” 

Later in the show, Zoe confirmed that she had another “big cry” and her co-stars Patrick and Ritchie had to give her a hug. 

Zoe also read out a “lovely tribute” from Mariah Carey which the iconic singer shared alongside several photos of her performing with Olivia. 

Mariah said: “I first fell in love with Olivia’s voice when I was a little girl and heard I Honestly Love You. Songs like Magic, Suddenly and Have You Never Been Mellow showcased her beautiful airy tone and signature sound.  

“Years later, THE one and only Olivia Newton-John actually walked out onto my stage in Melbourne, Australia and we sang our hearts out together to Hopelessly Devoted To You. This is a moment I will never ever forget.

“I was also blessed to be in her presence on many other occasions and she was one of the kindest, most generous and lovely people I’ve ever met. She will be missed. She will be remembered. She will be loved. Olivia, I honestly love you.” 

Olivia’s death was announced on Monday. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and then for a second time in 2013 and a third in 2017.

She became a leading advocate for cancer research and her charity, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation, has raised millions for the cause. 
Her work was even recognised by the Queen who honoured her with a damehood in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list. 

Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling and her daughter Chloe.


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