breaking Baz | 

Baz Ashmawy gets weepy talking about his dead granny in new TV doc on death

Nancy, who is very religious, admits Baz took it hard when his granny died in February 1989.

Baz and his beloved mammy Nancy

Eugene Masterson

Baz Ashmawy will be seen weeping at his gran's grave when he reveals how he refused to go to her funeral as he does not really believe in an afterlife.

In a largely wry and tongue-in-cheek journey taken by the TV presenter and his celebrated mother Nancy into the tradition of funerals and death for a documentary they made together, Baz wells up while visiting the final resting place of his granny Elizabeth Rooney.

Nancy, who found fame with her son on 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy grew up in Ballycoog, Co Wicklow, and she and Baz take a visit to the church where she made her first communion, the school where she got caned if she was bold during lessons and then to the graveyard where their relatives are buried.

Baz - who had an Egyptian father but was raised as an only child by single mother Nancy - jokes while talking about both Nancy and his own thoughts about death. He discusses whether they'd like to be buried or cremated, but becomes more serious when commenting about his nan.

"I've never visited my gran's grave, which is really bad," explains the presenter in RTÉ's Baz and Nancy's Last Orders. "It is no reflection on my relationship with her. It's just I don't kind of believe she's in that place."

Nancy, who is very religious, admits Baz took it hard when his granny died in February 1989.

"He was very upset when she passed away to the fact that he couldn't come to the funeral, the burial, or to the church, and I didn't force him to go the burial," she recalls.

Dad-of-two Baz (47) says her death affected him quite badly.

"It had a profound impact on me, where I was like 'I have no interest in celebrating anything after death, you celebrate your life, that's it'," he argues.

He asks Nancy if she ever had a conversation with his gran about her final wishes and she confessed she did and it was "very awkward".

"It's a conversation that needs to be had and it's a long time coming," Baz points out. "I'm an only child of my mum's, I'm the only one I can have it with ... if I'm not ready to have it now I'll never be able to have it."

Nancy (79) says: "I don't fear death or being gone. I look forward to my parents, my mother, to see them again. That's my belief, that you will see your family and friends again."

Baz and Nancy made the programme in January 2020, exploring the morbid but strangely uplifting business of editing your life's final chapter.

l Baz and Nancy's Last Orders is on RTE One tomorrow night at 9.35pm.


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