Taking to Instagram to share her grief over the sad news, the comedian shared a video of clips she had filmed while travelling with Martyn in the UK in recent years, which saw her always introduce him to her fans online as ‘my Martyn’ and the duo crack up over various situations.
Alongside the sweet compilation, Judi wrote: ‘It’s with deep heartbreak to share that My dear Martyn #MyMartin has passed away. (Yes I use to spell it wrong and we laughed about that too.)
‘Martyn often told me how much he loved his children, so my thoughts are firstly with them at this hard time. I’ll keep it 100% real with you, working in the public eye and getting older and wiser, your circle becomes smaller and Martyn was a part of the inner circle.. We built a beautiful friendship on laughter, life experiences and trust..’
Reflecting on how involved he’d been in her life, and how much she felt that he’d cared, she added: ‘Yes he drove me to shows but he also was involved in personal trips and events. Martyn saw me on my best and worst days, when my dad passed away, my daughter’s sweet 16th and a month ago when I had an operation Martyn waited outside until he knew I had been prepped, why? Because that’s the kind of man he was.’
‘Throughout these last 4 years Martyn kept my children and I safe and comfortable on the road. Martyn was the only driver that I would allow to drive my children, to them he was our Martyn,’ the Strictly Come Dancing star shared.
‘To say I am truly devastated is an understatement. God brings different people into your life for a reason, ours was for joy, care and love. I have so many memories of us that allows me to lol.. Like packing curry goat, fried chicken and plantain for him to take home and a little juice too!
‘Martyn never missed an opportunity to tell me how much he cared and he was one of my biggest cheerleaders. So in saying that with tears as I’m writing this, he will always be in my heart.’
Concluding her heartfelt tribute, Judi finished: ‘Martyn I pray our days brought you the same joy it gave me, our friendship will always remind me how important it is to find your tribe, your inner circle, treasure them and love them as much as possible. Sleep Well My Martin RIP.’
Kicking off the video with a clip where Judi filmed the driver, declaring ‘Look who it is! My Martyn!’ as he stood on the kerb by the car, smiling behind his facemask, Judi also shared footage of him helping out a delivery driver when all of his packages fell out the back of his van and complimenting her on looking ‘so elegant’.
She also shared a video tour of him introducing his new work car, gleefully exclaiming: ‘Soft-closing doors, my baby!’
Judi’s friends shared their condolences in the comments with author and presenter Candice Brathwaite posting: ‘I swear drivers come like family. Bless up Martyn.’
‘Oh my goodness, oh Judi… he was such a lovely man. Sending love to you and Martyn’s family xx,’ wrote her fellow Loose Women host Charlene White.
‘Oh that’s so sad. I love the videos you did on here with him 😢,’ Katie Piper added.
ITV entertainment presenter and former Dancing On Ice contestant Ria Hebden also shared her sadness.
‘Bless you Martin, what a guy. Sending you big love Judi ❤️😢🙏🏼,’ she shared.
They married in a private ceremony at their home, Pickle Cottage, with their five children in attendance: son Rex, two, and daughter Rose, nine months, who they had together, alongside Stacey’s sons Zach and Leighton from previous relationships, and actor Joe’s son Harry, 13, who he shares with a former partner.
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