Gogglebox Marys granddaughter says fame at 87 suited her to the ground as star is laid to rest

Gogglebox Marys granddaughter says fame at 87 suited her to the ground as star is laid to rest

10/01/2021

Mary Cook's granddaughter Nikki Ind has opened up on the life of the Gogglebox star as she is laid to rest.

The 92 year old sadly passed away in August, the hit Channel 4 show confirmed in a touching statement, leaving fans devastated.

She made her final journey to South Bristol Cemetery & Crematorium on Friday, surrounded by friends and family in an emotional service which saw Mary singing at her own funeral.

Discussing the decision behind her singing Fly Me to the Moon, My Way and Moon River at the service, Nikki exclusively told OK!: "On her 80th birthday my mum and I paid for her to go into a recording studio and she recorded those three songs. We have always said since that, 'We will play those at your funeral, nan'.

"She has always sang throughout her life, she could cry at the drop of a hat, but she was also known for her fun."

Mary was born to Edith and Frank Court in January 1929 and was the last surviving of four children, with sisters Audrey and Eileen and adopted brother John all passing before her.

She spent her childhood in Bedminster, which is where she met her first husband Jim and welcomed their two daughters, Gillian and Lynn.

Jim was Mary's first love, but they were cruelly separated when he died in a tragic car accident at the age of just 44.

Later in life, she met her second husband Graham – who she spent over 30 happy years with – before he sadly passed away in 2009.


She worked in a flour factory before moving on to become bar manager at The Grosvenor Hotel and supervisor in the Manager's Lounge at Imperial Tobacco, where she remained until retirement age.

However, retirement wasn't for Mary and she returned to work, helping Nikki out at her gym, The Power Station, alongside other family members.

"She was in her seventies so she couldn't do much in the gym but she was on reception and the strapping guys would all come in, she'd be doing the movements, saying 'Come on my tuppence, in you go to do your workout.' She was always that bright face that people saw when they walked in."

Mary travelled extensively with both of her husbands, as well as her family and friends, enjoying various Mediterranean cruises and visits to Jamaica, America, Malta, Majorca, Ibiza, Cyprus and Egypt.


Ever proud of Nikki – a former glamour model and Businesswoman of the Year award winner – she would tell waiters on their holidays: "'Nik's got a big house with a swimming pool', she would laugh and have that twinkle in her eye. She'd do it every time, no matter how many times I'd tell her to stop.

"She'd always be first on the dance floor. She was the life and soul, one of her sayings was, 'Think lucky and you'll be lucky', she loved playing bingo.

"She won about £4,000 on the bingo years ago when I was young, which was a lot of money back then. She was so generous with it and took her family on a cruise, bought things for my mum, a car for my dad.

"She even went round putting five pound notes in all of the neighbours' letter boxes so whenever she had a win she would always share it."

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She also spent regularly spent weekends in London with Gillian and Nikki, staying at posh hotels such as The Ritz, and dining at top restaurants The Ivy, Cipriani and The Savoy.

A keen darts player, Mary spent many years in the White Hart Bedminster ladies' team alongside her daughters, sister Audrey and granddaughter Nikki.

In 2011, she moved into St. Monica's retirement village alongside her Gogglebox co-star Marina Wingrove.

Nikki says: "I'm staying at her flat now, It is a bit like coming home now and staying in her flat. I was looking for something this morning and I found a little basket of all her nail polishes and make-up and everything. I thought: 'Gosh, for a 92 year old she still kept herself together'.

"I expected her to live another 10 years. I always said that she would outlive us all but sadly it wasn't meant to be."

They joined the show in 2016, when Mary was 87, and fast became much-loved members of the Gogglebox family and cast, with viewers tuning in weekly to hear her quick witted reactions to TV.

"She was really cheeky. I'd say the times I saw her on Gogglebox, I didn't see it often because I was living in Australia, if anything I would say that my nan was more comical. She was really young at heart.

"She should have been famous from a girl – it's funny how she didn't get famous until she was 87 but it suited her to the ground.

"She loved doing Gogglebox, she loved being recognised in the street, she would always chat to people. She was just super bright and quick-witted all the time."

Mary died after an aneurysm, during which doctors discovered her historical kidney cancer had returned.

"It was a small tear and it was seeping out so she lasted a couple of days after the aneurysm, and with the cancer returning, we knew it was all over. We couldn't save her, unfortunately.

"My last words to her were, 'Nan, I'm getting on a plane now, I'm going to come back to you and you're going to be back on Gogglebox in two weeks.'

"She said, 'Yep, ok, hurry up then!', that was my last conversation with her on FaceTime."

She will be buried next to her grandson, Alex Phillips, who passed away earlier this year aged 46 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

"Alex and his brother Darren spent a lot of time with nan and Graham and went on lots of holidays together, so it was really sad for her when he passed away.

"We've been there to tidy up Alex's grave and they were digging out nan's. It was really sweet, the grave digger was saying he knew Mary really well from Gogglebox."

Mary hopes her legacy will be to continue to support African children with cleft palates after death, asking friends and family to donate to Smile Train Africa.

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