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Billie and Sam Faiers’ father Lee pays tribute to his mother Wendy who died aged 77

Billie and Sam Faiers’ biological father has paid tribute to his mother Wendy, after she died on Wednesday aged 77 after a short battle with pneumonia. 

Lee said in a statement to MailOnline on Friday morning, the family was ‘completely devastated’ following the loss of Wendy but took comfort that she died peacefully. 

Billie, 31, won’t appear on this week’s Dancing On Ice as she grieves the loss of her beloved grandmother, whom she and Sam, 30, called Nanny Wendy. 

Devastated: Billie and Sam Faiers’ biological father has paid tribute to his mother Wendy, after she died on Wednesday aged 77 after a short battle with pneumonia

Lee said: ‘My beautiful mum lost her short battle with pneumonia on Wednesday afternoon. 

‘My mum idolised my daughters as she did all of her grandchildren. She thought of Suzanne as a daughter, they were very close.

‘I am completely devastated. This is the only statement I am doing. Please respect our family’s privacy at this time.’

Grieving: Billie, 31, (left) won't appear on this week's Dancing On Ice as she grieves the loss of her relative, whom she and Sam, 30, called Nanny Wendy (pictured February last year)

Grieving: Billie, 31, (left) won’t appear on this week’s Dancing On Ice as she grieves the loss of her relative, whom she and Sam, 30, called Nanny Wendy (pictured February last year) 

Well-loved: Lee said in a statement to MailOnline on Friday morning, the family was 'completely devastated' following the loss of Wendy (Lee pictured as a child with his mother)

Well-loved: Lee said in a statement to MailOnline on Friday morning, the family was ‘completely devastated’ following the loss of Wendy (Lee pictured as a child with his mother)

Lee is Billie and Sam’s biological father. Sam and Billie have had a troubled relationship with Lee over the years and he previously admitted it ‘breaks my heart we’re not close’.

Billie and Sam refer to their mum Suzanne’s ex partner Dave Chatwood as ‘dad’ and Dave has appeared on their Mummy Diaries show on numerous occasions.

Dancing On Ice confirmed on Thursday evening Billie would not feature in Sunday’s show following the tragic loss.     

A spokesperson for the show said: ‘Sadly due to a family bereavement this week Billie Shepherd is taking a break from the ice and won’t be on Sunday’s show. We look forward to her returning next week and send her all of our love at this sad time.’

Family: Sam and Billie have had a troubled relationship with the biological father Lee over the years and he previously admitted it 'breaks my heart we're not close'

Family: Sam and Billie have had a troubled relationship with the biological father Lee over the years and he previously admitted it ‘breaks my heart we’re not close’

Billie performed her first skating routine during Sunday’s episode of the show with her professional partner Mark Hanretty.

It has since been announced that Billie has lost her Nanny Wendy and a source close to the family said: ‘The girls are completely devastated.

‘They were very close with their Nan and her passing has come as a complete shock to the family.’

Sad news: 'My mum idolised my daughters as she did all of her grandchildren. She thought of Suzanne as a daughter, they were very close,' Lee said (Wendy pictured second right)

Sad news: ‘My mum idolised my daughters as she did all of her grandchildren. She thought of Suzanne as a daughter, they were very close,’ Lee said (Wendy pictured second right)

MailOnline understands that the girls and their families have also taken time out to grieve and have temporarily halted filming for The Mummy Diaries.  

Billie and Sam have been silent on social media in recent days following the tragic loss of their nanny. 

They had begun filming for the ninth series of their successful fly on the wall ITV series last month, as they shot Sam’s 30th lockdown birthday.

Statement: Dancing On Ice confirmed on Thursday evening Billie would not feature in Sunday's show following the tragic loss

Statement: Dancing On Ice confirmed on Thursday evening Billie would not feature in Sunday’s show following the tragic loss

Family: The family have regularly shared images with Wendy on their social media pages at glamorous events and on holidays (Wendy pictured fourth right)

Family: The family have regularly shared images with Wendy on their social media pages at glamorous events and on holidays (Wendy pictured fourth right)

They have regularly shared images with Nanny Wendy on their social media pages at glamorous events and on holidays.

In 2019 the family holidayed at the five-star Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, where the sisters were joined by mum Sue and grandma Wendy.

While on the trip Billie shared a sweet picture of herself, Sam, mum Suzie, 51, and Wendy, alongside the caption: ‘Three generations. We learnt from the best.’

The Faiers sisters had a close bond with their nanny.

'Learned from the best': While on the trip Billie shared a sweet picture of herself, Sam, mum Suzie, 51, and Wendy, alongside the caption: 'Three generations. We learnt from the best'

‘Learned from the best’: While on the trip Billie shared a sweet picture of herself, Sam, mum Suzie, 51, and Wendy, alongside the caption: ‘Three generations. We learnt from the best’

Love you: Since then Wendy has made appearances on their show, Mummy Diaries, and appeared at family events on the show

Love you: Since then Wendy has made appearances on their show, Mummy Diaries, and appeared at family events on the show

In 2012, Sam reportedly ‘begged’ TOWIE bosses to include her ‘mad’ tracksuit-wearing Nanny Wendy – who lived in Marbella – in the programme.

She said: ‘We are begging for a series in Marbella and I have told them that if they go they are getting Nanny Wendy in it.

Sam added: ‘People love those relationships on TOWIE and did see that with the Wright family, who also had their mad nan. I’ve got nanny Wendy, who lives in Marbella and has short red hair.

Group photo: She was also in attendance at Suzie's surprise 50th birthday bash hosted by her daughters

Group photo: She was also in attendance at Suzie’s surprise 50th birthday bash hosted by her daughters

‘She is mad, wears Juicy tracksuits, has a little Shih Tzu and drives around Marbella in a convertible. She is in her sixties and nuts!’

Since then Wendy has made appearances on their show, Mummy Diaries, and appeared at family events on the show.

Ahead of the final episode of series 6, Billie posted a snap with Wendy and wrote on Instagram: ‘#MummyDiaries season finale TONIGHT! Big thank you to everyone who tuned in this series! We had a ball. Bring on series 7. 9pm (ps love u nanny & grandad).’

Wendy joined the girls on Billie’s hen do which aired on the show, before marrying her now-husband Greg Shepherd, 35.

She was also in attendance at Suzie’s surprise 50th birthday bash hosted by her daughters.

Hen do: Wendy joined the girls on Billie's hen do which aired on the show, before marrying her now-husband Greg Shepherd, 35

Hen do: Wendy joined the girls on Billie’s hen do which aired on the show, before marrying her now-husband Greg Shepherd, 35

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk