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Edwina Currie mourns as her former police detective husband John Jones dies of cancer aged 79

Former MP and broadcaster Edwina Currie has paid tribute to her ‘fun’ husband following his death from cancer.

Ex-Flying Squad detective John Jones died at the age of 79 at the start of this month after battling the disease for several years.

The pair met when Currie interviewed him on her late night show on BBC Radio 5 Live in the late 1990s.

Ms Currie, 74, described him as a ‘gallant gentleman’ with a ‘wonderful sense of humour’.

Former MP and broadcaster Edwina Currie has paid tribute to her ‘fun’ husband, former Metropolitan Police detective John Jones, following his death from cancer

The distinguished Metropolitan Police detective died on November 1 just a few weeks after opting to bring his cancer treatment to an end.

‘He’d had cancer for many years,’ Ms Currie old BBC Radio Derby. 

‘He was a heavy smoker and inevitably most people who smoke get an illness and the worst of those is cancer.

‘He had three different bouts of three different cancers. Every time he came out of hospital he left bits behind.

‘Eventually the cancer came back, as cancer does, and this time it was in his bones and his brain.’

The pair married at Southwark, London, in May 2001, two years after their meeting during an edition of her regular radio show Late Night Currie.

The former Conservative cabinet minister, from Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, said the detective with the Metropolitan Police caught her attention during a discussion about gang violence in London.

Ex-Flying Squad detective John Jones died at the age of 79 at the start of this month after battling the disease for several years

Ex-Flying Squad detective John Jones died at the age of 79 at the start of this month after battling the disease for several years

The pair met when Currie interviewed him on her late night show on BBC Radio 5 Live in the late 1990s. Ms Currie, 74, described him as a 'gallant gentleman' with a 'wonderful sense of humour'

The pair met when Currie interviewed him on her late night show on BBC Radio 5 Live in the late 1990s. Ms Currie, 74, described him as a ‘gallant gentleman’ with a ‘wonderful sense of humour’

‘I just thought he sounded really interesting. He didn’t sound like a police officer,’ she said.

‘I asked him if he’d lost control of the streets of Brixton because there’d been some shootings, but I also asked him out to lunch.’

‘I said to my producer “Give him my number and if he’s interested I’ll take him to lunch in Covent Garden”.’

John, whose first wife had died the previous year, agreed to the invitation. Ms Currie later admitted that, for her, it was love at first sight.

Ms Currie said: ‘I got there early and he turned up in a dark blue suit and a Flying Squad tie. I thought ‘I wouldn’t mind being arrested by you’.’

The pair were married in 2001 and had remained together ever since, even appearing as a celebrity couple on an episode of Bargain Hunt.

The distinguished Metropolitan Police detective died on November 1 just a few weeks after opting to bring his cancer treatment to an end

The distinguished Metropolitan Police detective died on November 1 just a few weeks after opting to bring his cancer treatment to an end

‘We were very lucky. We had 20 great years,’ Ms Currie said.

Ms Currie married accountant Ray Currie in Devon in 1972 and they had two children, but had divorced in 1997.

During the marriage she had a four-year affair with John Major, later Prime Minister, which she revealed in September 2002.

Following her second marriage the former South Derbyshire MP moved to the Peak District where she spent time with John walking their dogs, carrying out charity work and singing in a local choir.

Asked to describe him she said: ‘He was fun. He made everybody smile. 

‘He had a wonderful sense of humour, slightly naughty and very old fashioned, but in a gallant gentleman kind of way.’

'He'd had cancer for many years,' Ms Currie old BBC Radio Derby. 'He was a heavy smoker and inevitably most people who smoke get an illness and the worst of those is cancer'

‘He’d had cancer for many years,’ Ms Currie old BBC Radio Derby. ‘He was a heavy smoker and inevitably most people who smoke get an illness and the worst of those is cancer’

During her first marriage, Ms Currie had a four-year affair with John Major (pictured centre), later Prime Minister, which she revealed in September 2002

During her first marriage, Ms Currie had a four-year affair with John Major (pictured centre), later Prime Minister, which she revealed in September 2002

She also paid tribute to his distinguished policing career. ‘He led remarkable teams and did a tremendous amount,’ she said.

‘He’s one of those people who actually doesn’t need an epitaph because he lives on in the hearts and minds of a lot of people he helped.’

Speaking in a 2014 interview with the Mail On Sunday, Mr Jones questioned whether it was a ‘good thing’ for his wife to have revealed her affair with Mr Major.

She made the revelation in her now-infamous diaries. 

Mr Jones said ‘I was somewhat doubtful over whether it was a good thing for her to put all that stuff about Mr Major into the diaries,’ he says.

‘Her view – and I laughed out loud at the time – was that this was part of British history. 

‘I said, “For God’s sake, what are you talking about, part of British history? 

“This is a man and a woman who did something they shouldn’t have done in the flush of their youth.”‘

Ms Currie never told her ex-husband or their two daughters, Debbie, 46, and Susie, 43, about the affair or that she was about to disclose it to the nation in her diaries. 

They then found out by reading the front page of a newspaper.

‘It did hurt Ray and it did hurt the girls,’ Mr Jones added. 

He also described his wife as ‘an eater’ in the interview, which came as Ms Currie appeared in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here in 2014. 

‘She’s an eater. My God, she’s an eater,’ he said.

‘After “I love you”, Edwina’s most used phrase is “I’m a bit peckish”.

Speaking in a 2014 interview with the Mail On Sunday, Mr Jones questioned whether it was a 'good thing' for his wife to have revealed her affair with Mr Major

Speaking in a 2014 interview with the Mail On Sunday, Mr Jones questioned whether it was a ‘good thing’ for his wife to have revealed her affair with Mr Major

‘If you put a big plate of food in front of her, she will finish it. And, if I can’t finish mine, she’ll finish that too if she can get hold of it.

‘You can imagine what it’s like up here in Derbyshire too: bloody great portions.

‘She does feel it would be a good idea to get rid of a bit of weight. I think she could do with shifting a stone. She’d be delighted if she did.’

However, he did also describe his wife as ‘a bit of a sex goddess’ and said she had always been ‘my pin-up, even before I met her.’   

Earlier in 2014, the former politician revealed that she had been ordered off Twitter by her husband after she was criticised for saying people who use food banks spend their cash on tattoos and dog food.

She had said in comments to BBC Radio Stoke, ‘I get very, very troubled at the number of people who are using food banks who think that it’s fine to pay to feed their dog, their dog is in good nick and beautiful, but they never learn to cook, they never learn to manage and the moment they’ve got a bit of spare cash they’re off getting another tattoo.

‘We should feel cross about this, all of us.’ 

Shortly after the comments, she tweeted: ‘Hubby is demanding I stop tweeting and go pay him some attention. I hear and obey.’ 

He also described his wife as 'an eater' in the interview, which came as Ms Currie appeared in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here in 2014

He also described his wife as ‘an eater’ in the interview, which came as Ms Currie appeared in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here in 2014

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