X Factor Judge Ayda Field has opened up about the death of her father, after a contestant on the reality show shared a similar story.
Tonight’s show will show an emotional Ayda confess her still-raw grief after listening to a contestant perform in honour of his late mother.
Contestant J-Sol lost his mother unexpectedly – in a way that cuts close to home for the Loose Women panelist, whose dad, Haldun Evecan, died suddenly of a heart attack in 2014.
Responding to the performance, and to J-Sol’s grief, she opened up about how devastated she was by her father’s death.
“I will never forget how the world swallowed me up on that day when I found out,” she said.
To make the situation even harder to bear, he had only recently reunited with his daughter after years of estrangement.
Speaking to The Mirror, Ayda claimed that hearing the performance made her confront the fact that she hasn’t yet dealt with the loss of her father.
“When he sang the first note, I was like, ‘Oh my God, here we go,'” she said.
“It touched me. I feel I needed to hear that song. I needed to feel some things I wasn’t ready to deal with. I was grateful.”
Haldun split from Ayda’s mother, Gwen Field, when she was just three years old; he moved back to his native Turkey, and started another family.
He claimed that he fought a legal battle to keep in touch with his daughter, but despite his efforts he didn’t see her again for fifteen years.
Since meeting again the pair had sporadic contact – Ayda travelled to Turkey to see her father at the age of 26, and kept up phone contact – calling him ahead of her wedding to pop star Robbie Williams.
Her father had wanted to give her a second wedding in Turkey, to celebrate her marriage – but he never managed it.
At the time, he spoke to The Telegraph about his relationship with his daughter, claiming he regretted not being part of her childhood.
“We spoke on the morning of her wedding,” he said. “We were on the phone for about an hour together. I was wishing her happiness and apologising that I hadn’t been there for her as she was growing up.
“I told her that I didn’t give her much and certainly not as much love as I would have liked and that will haunt me my whole life and my beautiful daughter replied Baba you gave me the best gift of all you gave me life.”
Ayda posted a tribute to her father in August, marking the four-year anniversary of his death. She shared a photo of herself with Haldun and her two half-sisters.
The image was captioned “4 Years ago today, I lost my father, Haldun. Here I am with him, my sisters and Teddy. It’s a beautiful day I will never forget.
“I’m grateful to hold this memory in my heart forever. Wherever you are in The Universe, my dear Baba, I love you ❤️”
Ayda wasted the only judge who identified with J-Sol’s X-Factor performance.
Louis Tomlinson, who lost his mother to leukaemia in 2016, also had an emotional response to the performance, saying “Such a beautiful song that has touched us all on this panel.”
And Simon Cowell claims he still “talks every day” to his mum Julie, who died in 2015.
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