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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Gemma Atkinson shares personal memory of meeting Oliva Newton-John in sweet tribute following death

Gemma Atkinson has shared her own encounter with Dame Olivia Newton-John in a sweet tribute after it was confirmed the actress and singer has died.

The Grease icon's husband, John Easterling, confirmed the British-born star had died “peacefully” at her ranch in Southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends, at the aged of 73,

In a statement posted to Instagram, her husband John Easterling wrote: “We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time." Dame Olivia’s daughter Chloe Lattanzi paid tribute to her mother with a selection of images on Instagram. The post included pictures of Ms Lattanzi as a baby as well as more showing the pair appearing to give interviews together.

READ MORE: 'I love you so much': John Travolta pays heartfelt tribute to Grease co-star Dame Olivia Newton-John

Dame Olivia is best known for her starring role in the 1978 film Grease, in which she starred opposite John Travolta as Sandy. Writing on Instagram, Travolta said that her “impact was incredible” and signed off his tribute to the actress as "your Danny".

"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he wrote. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!"

The tributes have continued to pour in overnight with Gemma, from Bury, among those to share their own stories of Dame Olivia. She shared a picture of the singer and actress and wrote: "What a woman. I had the pleasure of joining Olivia in China for a week in 2008 on her 'Great Walk to Beijing.

"She wanted to raise funds to build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre in Melbourne. She was every bit as kind & as wonderful as you'd imagine. RIP Olivia Newton-John [heart emoji]." She then posted another photo of Dame Olivia as Sandy. Gemma, 37, added: "And I always wanted to be Sandy [heart emoji]."

Gemma Atkinson shared a message on Instagram (Gemma Atkinson Instagram)

Pop megastar, Kylie Minogue also paid tribute and said Dame Olivia "was and always will be" an inspiration to her. "Since I was ten years old, I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton John," she wrote on Twitter. And, I always will. (Just like this picture @nfsaonline) She was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. x ONJ4EVER."

Sharing a picture of the pair together, Peter Andre, who is currently starring in the West End production of Greese, hailed her as "a true icon" who was "warm, kind and caring to everyone"

Sharing a picture of the pair together, he penned: "I will never forget this night. I had the privilege of performing alongside Olivia Newton-John for the Spina Bifida charity concert in Australia," he said. "She was warm, kind and caring to everyone backstage. She was the same every time we met. A true icon. Sad day."


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