Brenda Edwards has spoken about her son’s sudden death in her first interview with Loose Women co-star and friend Coleen Nolan. The pre-recorded chat, which took place in Coleen’s garden at her Cheshire home, aired during Monday’s edition of the panel show.
The chat, which comes ahead of Brenda’s return to the ITV panel on Tuesday (April 26), saw Brenda speak about Jamal two months after his death, aged 31
There was an outpouring of shock and grief in February when news of SBTV founder Jamal’s death broke. The entrepreneur and music pioneer, who was awarded an MBE in 2014 for his services to music, is widely credited for launching the careers of several leading British artists including Ed Sheeran and Dave.
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She told Coleen in an open and emotional interview that she was “doing okay,” and “taking each day as it comes.” She said: “One thing I do want to say is I was with him, and his sister was with us. We were all at home.”
Brenda continued: “It was sudden and it was unexpected, and he went into a cardiac arrest and then he passed with me holding his hand. So, I get a little bit of comfort from knowing I was with him.”
As Coleen told her that she should get a lot of comfort from that, Brenda added: “At the same time, it’s a vision I’m never going to forget. I wake up every morning, and there’s all his photos in the house and I look at them and said ‘Good morning, baby’ and ‘Goodnight, baby’ and I think doing that is what’s keeping me going.”
Brenda said she feels her son’s presence “constantly” before adding: “He’s definitely here,” she added. Jamal had left details for his funeral, or as Brenda called it his ‘homegoing’, meaning the family had clear instructions which she says she only found out about after he had passed, telling Coleen he “had to do that” with all the businesses he was running and she was “glad” to have it.
“He’d pretty much thought of everything,” the 53-year-old recalled, adding that he wanted Luton and Chelsea football club to be involved. “He was born in Luton, we went back to Luton and had his homegoing service there,” Brenda said. “He had a blue and white theme. Everyone wore blue or white, the music was there, he had live entertainment. It was really really lovely.”
She added: “When we laid him to rest it was really beautiful. We looked up at the clouds and it looked like there was a ‘J’. The clouds had made a ‘J’ and a friend took a picture of it.”
Brenda also revealed she’s set up the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust in Jamal’s memory. She said: “It’s been set up with two main things in mind. Jamal was all about empowering young people. We want to set up an academy for 16-21 year olds, giving them an internship if you like, within an organization over a period of a year, where they learn everything from the ground up. And then we’re also looking to set up a homeless sanctuary.”
Coleen commented that listening to Brenda, she “sees Jamal,” adding: “It’s like Jamal talking, you’ve found his passion,” before asking Brenda about Jamal’s legacy. “He said, ‘We all die, the goal is not to live forever but to create something that will.,'” Brenda said: “And I believe he has created something that will and I’m determined to make sure that it will That’s my goal.”
Brenda became emotional as Coleen heaped praise on her before telling her: “He is somewhere going, ‘That’s my mum’, and you should be so proud.”
Loose Women fans were soon flooding social media with comments of support from Brenda.
“Wow Brenda, what a dignified and beautiful lady. Brought me to tears but additionally felt her strength. Jamal is incredibly proud #loosewomen,” @2MetreDistance tweeted.
@TraylorHolmes said: “I’m sure she has her moments but @brenda_edwards is such a strong lady #LooseWomen.”
“Crying my eyes out watching #LooseWomen my heart goes out to Brenda & her family Really one incredible woman I can’t imagine what she has been through & still going through Sending love & hugs,” @Ema_Louise84 wrote.
@chibba_chris added: “Much stronger than I could be well done @brenda_edwards and perfectly done @NolanColeen #loosewomen.”
Loose Womenairs weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV and ITV Hub.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.