Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tragedy for Geordie Favourite Ant

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tragedy for Geordie Favourite Ant

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Wearmouth Reporter rachel.wearmouth@trinitymirror.com

TYNESIDE television star Ant McPartlin faced Christmas with a heavy heart after losing his sister-in-law to cancer.

Sally Ann Thomson, who was mum to Ant's five-year-old nephew Owen with the star's brother Robert, died from a rare form of cancer at the age of 29.

Ant's mum Christine, who is from Newcastle's Fenham, stepped in to take care of Sally Ann's little boy when his mother's health deteriorated. The family are said to be devastated when, less than two weeks before Christmas, Sally Ann died from a rare form of ovarian cancer.

News reached the 38-yearold Geordie presenter while he was in Australia working on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here with his co-host Declan Donnelly.

Unable to fly back in time for the funeral, Ant instead sent a card with his condolences to Sally Ann's family.

Sally Ann's mum Dawn, 53, has said the star was close to her daughter and adores his nephew Owen.

She said: "Ant's mum has been absolutely brilliant throughout it all. All this has brought our families closer together. I can't thank her enough."

Sally Ann was a guest at Ant's wedding to make-up artist Lisa Armstrong in 2006.

Dawn said: "They got on really well and kept in contact as often as they could.

"Ant is brilliant with Owen. He came around to our house on Owen's birthday and Sally Ann and Owen had been down to London to see him.

"He sent me a lovely sympathy card when Sally Ann passed away and he used to send her get-well cards when she found out she had cancer."

In the weeks leading up to Sally Ann's death, Ant's caring mum took Owen - the grandson of her second husband David - into her home.

The couple juggled their fulltime jobs with caring for the boy. Describing Christine as a pillar of strength, Dawn said: "Sally Ann and Owen lived with me until she got really poorly. …

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