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Mystic Meg dies aged 80: Iconic astrologer who became a household name with her National Lottery predictions and horoscopes passes away after a short illness weeks after being hospitalised for flu

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Britain’s most famous astrologer Mystic Meg has passed away today at the age of 80, after a 30-year career writing horoscopes and predicting Lottery numbers for the nation. 

The iconic astrologer, who shot to fame with her weekly National Lottery predictions, died at 3.45am on Thursday morning. She was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, last month to be treated for flu.

Tributes have poured in for the star, real name Margaret Lake, who lived alone with her seven cats in a three-bedroom flat in Notting Hill.

Meg never married after the ‘love of her life’ and heir to the Littlewoods football pools empire, Nigel Moores, was killed in a car crash in the south of France in 1977.

As a child she was taught astrology by her Russian gypsy grandmother and started writing horoscopes after penning erotic stories for pornography magazines. 

Colleagues say she didn’t drink alcohol, only ate vegetables and went to the gym four times a week ‘to keep her clairvoyant powers strong.’

Meg shot to stardom when she began offering horoscope readings over the phone in 1989 – a service which broke all BT records. 

She became a household name when she began starring on the National Lottery TV show every Saturday from 1994, emerging from a cloud of smoke and using a crystal ball – left to her by her grandmother – to predict who would win the jackpot. 

Mystic Meg (pictured) has died aged 80 after losing her battle with a short illness

Mystic Meg (pictured) has died aged 80 after losing her battle with a short illness

National Lottery presenters, (left to right, front row) Frank Bruno, Bob Monkhouse and Mystic Meg, celebrating the 100th jackpot draw with past winners (back row, left to right) Bob Westland (£3.7m), Ken Southwell (£900,000), Elaine Thompson (£2.7m), Peter Lavery (£10.2m) and Karl Crompton (£10.9m)

National Lottery presenters, (left to right, front row) Frank Bruno, Bob Monkhouse and Mystic Meg, celebrating the 100th jackpot draw with past winners (back row, left to right) Bob Westland (£3.7m), Ken Southwell (£900,000), Elaine Thompson (£2.7m), Peter Lavery (£10.2m) and Karl Crompton (£10.9m)

Her agent of 34 years, Dave Shapland, told the Sun: ‘Without any question, she was Britain’s most famous astrologer by a million miles.

‘Nobody came close to Meg in that respect. She was followed by millions in this country and also around the world.

‘She even became part of the English language – if a politician, somebody from showbiz or ordinary people in the street are asked a tricky question they will say ”Who do you think I am, Mystic Meg?”… It shows what an impact she made.’

Piers Morgan today described her as a ‘fascinatingly mysterious lady who loved her work with a passion but was rarely seen or heard in public’.

He added: ‘I was her editor at the News of the World for several years and she was extraordinarily professional in everything she did. A master of her very popular craft.’

When she was seven, Meg’s horoscope predicted she would marry a wealthy man.  

But former editor of the Sun Kelvin MacKenzie today revealed she never tied the knot after the ‘big love of her life’ Mr Moores died in a car crash in the South of France in 1977. 

The 39-year-old businessman was worth around £9million at the time of his death. 

Adding to the tributes, magician Uri Geller said Meg was ‘so identifiable by name and image’, branding her ‘the quintessential fortune teller who brought mystery and mystique to millions of believers’. 

He added: ‘She defied the dreary sceptics, as did her fans. Much love and positive energy, Meg, on your onward journey.’ 

Former world boxing heavyweight champion Frank Bruno also paid his respects on Twitter. He said he and Meg worked together ‘a few times on TV’, adding that she was a ‘charming lady’. 

Meg, who was of Romany descent, was born in a maternity home in Lancashire in 1942.

Meg, who was of Romany descent, never married after the 'love of her life', millionaire football pools heir Nigel Moores, was killed in a car crash in the south of France in 1977. (Pictured: Nigel Moores, far right, at his first wedding with then-wife Jean Murray Scott, centre, and his father Cecil Moores)

Meg, who was of Romany descent, never married after the ‘love of her life’, millionaire football pools heir Nigel Moores, was killed in a car crash in the south of France in 1977. (Pictured: Nigel Moores, far right, at his first wedding with then-wife Jean Murray Scott, centre, and his father Cecil Moores) 

Meg (pictured as a student) studied English at the University of Leeds and joined the now defunct News Of The World newspaper as a sub-editor, before eventually becoming sub-editor of its weekend supplement Sunday

Meg (pictured as a student) studied English at the University of Leeds and joined the now defunct News Of The World newspaper as a sub-editor, before eventually becoming sub-editor of its weekend supplement Sunday

Meg, pictured here in a riding competition as a child, was an animal lover and owned at least three racehorses

Meg, pictured here in a riding competition as a child, was an animal lover and owned at least three racehorses

The horoscope reader, real name Margaret Lake, was admitted to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London , last month with the flu

The horoscope reader, real name Margaret Lake, was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London , last month with the flu

Piers Morgan today described Mystic Meg (pictured) as 'Britain's most famous astrologer' and a 'fascinatingly mysterious lady who loved her work with a passion but was rarely seen or heard in public'

Piers Morgan today described Mystic Meg (pictured) as ‘Britain’s most famous astrologer’ and a ‘fascinatingly mysterious lady who loved her work with a passion but was rarely seen or heard in public’

Andi Peters and Mystic Meg on stage at the Live and Kicking Red Nose Awards show broadcast in 1995

Andi Peters and Mystic Meg on stage at the Live and Kicking Red Nose Awards show broadcast in 1995

Over the years she also released a number of books including Mystic Meg's Astrolife and Mystic Meg's Lucky Numbers For Love Life And The Lottery (Pictured: Bob Monkhouse and Mystic Meg)

Over the years she also released a number of books including Mystic Meg’s Astrolife and Mystic Meg’s Lucky Numbers For Love Life And The Lottery (Pictured: Bob Monkhouse and Mystic Meg)

She grew up in a terraced house in Accrington, where she was taught astrology by her Russian gypsy grandmother – although becoming a soothsayer was not her immediate career choice. 

Meg studied English at the University of Leeds and earned a teacher’s diploma. 

She did not become a teacher, however, and joined the now defunct News Of The World newspaper as a sub-editor. She moved her way up and became deputy editor of its weekend supplement Sunday. 

She would make the shift to horoscopes in the 1980s, when she changed her name to Meg Markova and became the paper’s astrologer – before later rebranding as Mystic Meg. 

She then shot to stardom by becoming among the first to offer horoscope readings over the phone in 1989. 

Her service broke all BT records and she quickly became the most successful phone-line astrologer in the world. 

Meg landed another big break on the National Lottery TV show, which she featured on from 1994. 

Each Saturday night the ‘seer’ would emerge from a cloud of smoke and stare into her crystal ball – left to her by her grandmother – to predict who would win the jackpot. 

Her regular spot was dropped by the BBC in a programme shake-up in 1997 but the following year she made a comeback for a sketch alongside presenter Bradley Walsh. In the sketch, Walsh’s brother Del, who runs a market stall, tries to convince Meg of his own fortune-telling method – frying sausages.

Magician Uri Geller said Meg was 'so identifiable by name and image', branding her 'the quintessential fortune teller who brought mystery and mystique to millions of believers'

Magician Uri Geller said Meg was ‘so identifiable by name and image’, branding her ‘the quintessential fortune teller who brought mystery and mystique to millions of believers’ 

Meg appeared in a series of adverts for the soft drink Oasis in the 1990s and in 2015 was the face of the Grand National's 'You're Guaranteed a Fortune' campaign

Meg appeared in a series of adverts for the soft drink Oasis in the 1990s and in 2015 was the face of the Grand National’s ‘You’re Guaranteed a Fortune’ campaign

Meg grew up in a terraced house in Accrington, where she was taught astrology by her Russian gypsy grandmother - although becoming a soothsayer was not her immediate career choice

Meg grew up in a terraced house in Accrington, where she was taught astrology by her Russian gypsy grandmother – although becoming a soothsayer was not her immediate career choice

Meg’s distinctive cloak and black bob hairdo helped make her a household name, and she signed multiple brand deals over the years. 

She appeared in a series of adverts for the soft drink Oasis in the 1990s and in 2015 was the face of the Grand National’s ‘You’re Guaranteed a Fortune’ campaign. 

The animal lover had a keen interest in horses and owned at least three racehorses. She lived alone with her cats and previously said the feline friends had ‘found her and moved in’.

In her practice, she worked with runes, crystal balls, I Ching, tarot and numerology. According to astrological charts, Meg’s star sign was a Leo.

Over the years she also released a number of books including Mystic Meg’s Astrolife and Mystic Meg’s Lucky Numbers For Love Life And The Lottery.

A previous Lotto roll-over winner credited Meg with prompting her to check her ticket after she had hidden it in a biscuit tin next to her bed.

According to astrological charts, Mystic Meg's star sign was a Leo. In her practice, she worked with runes, crystal balls, I Ching, tarot and numerology

According to astrological charts, Mystic Meg’s star sign was a Leo. In her practice, she worked with runes, crystal balls, I Ching, tarot and numerology

Meg appeared in a series of adverts for the soft drink Oasis (pictured) in the 1990s and in 2015 was the face of the Grand National's 'You're Guaranteed a Fortune' campaign

Meg appeared in a series of adverts for the soft drink Oasis (pictured) in the 1990s and in 2015 was the face of the Grand National’s ‘You’re Guaranteed a Fortune’ campaign

After mother-of-four Mary Jones from Gwynedd, north Wales, won £9.3million in 2004. She said: ‘I read Mystic Meg in The Sun and it said don’t forget to check your lottery ticket. I couldn’t believe it when I realised it had come true.’

The astrologer also thanked her lucky stars after she predicted that the racehorse Optimistic would win for her at a prestigious York meeting in 1997.

The Sun’s editor, Victoria Newton, said: ‘This is devastating news. We have lost an icon. Our brilliant and incomparable Meg was synonymous with The Sun – she was a total legend. We loved her and so did our readers.

‘For more than two decades Mystic Meg has been a must-read column and cemented her as Britain’s most famous astrologer.

‘She was a true professional whose guidance helped our readers daily – our postbag bears testament to this.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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