AFTER losing his beloved mother, Jeremy Kyle decided to stub out his last cigarette.
He told The Sun: “It did make me think of my mortality. I do realise that I’m in my fifties, I do have kids, I’m a granddad and I want to keep going.
“It was obviously a terrible time. My mother was the shining light of my life.”
After spending Christmas 2016 with his mother, she passed away after suffering a stroke aged 85 before the New Year.
Incredibly, Jeremy, 53, went straight back to work – but he claims he inherited his strong work ethic from his mother.
He said: “I just got on with what I had to get on with, I think I was filming the next day.
“But it was the same when I had cancer. I wanted to get back to work, I wanted to get on with my life.
“My mother was an incredible woman with such a strong work ethic. I remember five or six years ago I went down to Somerset to visit her and dad – I was feeling a bit stressed.
“She said to me, ‘I’ll tell you what stress is, it’s doing your homework in an air raid shelter – now get back to work.’
“So getting back to it is exactly what she would have wanted.”
“She was all things to everybody,” Jeremy recalls.
“Even in death – she was not going to die with any of us around.
“She wanted to make sure we were alright, make sure everybody got through Christmas and off she popped. That’s the way she did it – with no fuss. She was too dignified to go any other way.
“I’m glad she didn’t sit around for ages after her stroke having no sort of life because she was far too dignified and meant far too much to all of us to do that.”
Another big factor in Jeremy’s decision to stop smoking was his 36-year-old fiancee Vicky Burton.
After announcing their engagement in February, Jeremy decided to quit just two months later.
“Getting married, Vic changing my life,” Jeremy said, “it’s all those reasons.”
After smoking 20 cigarettes a day, the telly star is throwing his weight behind the annual Stoptober campaign, which provides help and information for smokers looking to quit.
He recalls his last cigarette, saying: “I finished smoking on Friday April 12 on a golf course in Dallas.
“I was with one of my best friends and I turned around and said to him, ‘Guess what? This is the last cigarette I’m ever going to have in my life.’ He replied, ‘Yeah, right,’ and I saw him the other week and he couldn’t believe it.
“Vic said to me the other day that it’s far more sociable – that I’m actually spending the entire dinner time round the table with her and my family.”
And for Jeremy, time is precious.
The broadcaster is busier than ever – as well as filming 200 new episodes for his ITV talk show, Jeremy is also filming a fifth series of The Kyle Files and launched his brilliant weekly current affairs show on talkRADIO in August.
The father-of-four said of his new Saturday show: “I absolutely love it. It’s like going back to my roots.
“I guess when you start out on radio it’s probably in your blood.”
On his first show he managed to bag an exclusive interview with Nigel Farage – and for once, despite Jeremy’s ability to talk for Britain, he was left uncharacteristically silent.
“Obviously I didn’t get a word in with Nigel,” he laughs.
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“The day I started was the day Farage announced his return to front line politics and I was at my producer to get him.
“But he was on a plane and so I had no idea what he was going to do. He picked up the phone when he got off the plane and we got the world exclusive first chat.
“But I love the variety. Last week I was grilling footballer Jermaine Pennant on his life and then I was eating fish and chips to celebrate fish and chips.
“That’s the life, isn’t it?”
Former smoker Jeremy Kyle is encouraging smokers to make a quit attempt this Stoptober. Quitting smoking is easier with the right support, so search ‘Stoptober’ to get your free Personal Quit Plan and find out about the range of support that’s right for you.
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