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LBC radio presenter Shelagh Fogarty has opened up about caring for her mother during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the time with her was 'precious' and revealing that the time presenting from home and looking after her was 'intense'.
With her brother living around the corner, Fogarty moved back into her parents' at the start of the pandemic, so the family could split the caring and 'get rid of carers and just seal the house off' and carried on her job presenting the afternoon show on the talk radio station.
"We just kind of hunkered down together," Fogarty told Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time. "Obviously there were different dynamics at play, but it was a bit like being flatmates or housemates, and we'd have a giggle.
"She had tough times because of the physical stuff she was going through. And so I'd help her with that emotionally. It was an emotional time but utterly magical as well."
WATCH: Shelagh Fogarty on LBC, not wanting to be a 'shock jock', and learning from Hillsborough
She said the current 'Partygate' scandal made her 'blood boil' when she thought about family members coming round and waving through the window to the point where her mum would begin to think they had died because she hadn't seen them.
Her mother died in September 2021, when Fogarty said she was 90 years old and 'ready to go'.
Though colleagues would check up on her because what she was doing was 'intense', Fogarty said: "I was fine. Because I had my job, lots of people didn't. And I was where I needed, where I wanted to be to keep my mum safe.
"And that's everything I needed at that phase really. It was intense."
Saying she would sometime just 'flop on the bed' because it was so tiring, she also called the period of presenting from her childhood bedroom 'precious'.
Listen to the full episode to hear Shelagh talk about being one of seven children, the time her family forgot to pick her up from nursery in a house move, and the best lessons she learned from her parents
She said before the word 'bubble' was used, that's what they were in, and that she became her mother's hairdresser, learning how to set her hair in lots of rollers.
"I hugged her about 85,000 times a day," she said. "I just got so much time to hug her and squeeze her and love her, and do her hair."
Fogarty said that reporting on the Hillsborough disaster from her earliest days in journalism had prepared her for the trauma of the pandemic, but that there was a difference in covering coronavirus in that she too was living it and was reminded of it daily.
She said: "It was the only story I've ever covered where every single person is experiencing the same story. Now they might be experiencing it differently, but they're all experiencing the same story."
The presenter, who used to host on BBC Radio 5 Live with Nicky Campbell, would make the same joke to her mum, coming down the stairs every day at 4pm and saying 'God, that commute's terrible'.
Her mum would say: "'It wasn't funny the first time you said it, it isn't funny the 957th time', but it amused me everyday."
Saying she had been raised by 'fabulous people' and always came back to the advice her dad had given her to remember who she was.
Fogarty said: "I came away from losing my mum thinking: 'I'm gonna live up to her. I'm gonna live up to everything she was. That's what I'm gonna do.'"
WATCH: Shelagh Fogarty on her experience of the Hillsborough disaster