Carol Vorderman says mum wouldve killed her over faux pas with Pope
Former Pope Benedict XVI dies aged 95
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Carol Vorderman, 62, has opened up about the moment when she desperately tried to disguise the fact she’d defaced Pope Benedict XVI’s ring with her lipstick, in a candid Instagram post marking the Catholic leader’s New Year’s Eve death. As she paid her respects to the late Pope, she admitted she’d never told the story to her mum out of fear of how she’d have reacted.
However, former Countdown maths ace Carol – once the highest paid woman on television – was much more open today about her mishap, as she shared all with her 286,000 followers.
Unleashing a very public confession, she explained that the blunder took place when she co-hosted the Pope’s Day in London’s Hyde Park, back in 2010.
She and Frank Cottrell Boyce hosted what she described as an “incredible day whatever your religious beliefs, full of love and song and happiness”.
With her proud mum looking on from the audience, Carol admitted: “I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to kiss the Papal ring.”
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The jewel, also known as the Fisherman’s Ring, is a formal piece of the Pope’s regalia, which is always worn on the third finger of his left hand, and destroyed at the end of his papacy.
“Not being used to this kind of thing I’d completely forgotten I still had my stage make up on with a heavy slick of orangy lipstick,” she candidly cringed.
“I held the Pope’s right hand, bent down, kissed the golden ring, and as my head came up all I could see was how much lipstick I’d left all over it, literally everywhere.
“I spent the next second which seemed like an hour not letting go of his hand trying to rub the lipstick off without him noticing. Not sure it worked.”
Carol enclosed a photo of the embarrassing moment, showing her clutching the Pope’s hand as he reciprocated by gripping her forearm, and smiling sheepishly.
However, few could have guessed that she was frantically wiping at the ring, as her face scarcely gave away that anything was wrong.
“[I was] not letting go and still trying to rub the lipstick off with both hands.” she joked.
“I never told my mother, she would have killed me.”
She added: “For that one day…. [she] was very proud of me.”
Carol was raised Catholic, and says she feels enormous gratitude towards the Church for providing her with an education, leading to the razor sharp Maths skills that earned her a Countdown career.
However, she admits that the Church isn’t without its controversies, and that she has “vehemently opposed” it on a number of issues over the decades.
Carol also suffered the stigma of being the only child in her school who had divorced parents, as marriage splits were less common back in the 1960s.
“My mother [was] divorced and therefore not allowed to receive holy communion since the age of 32,” she lamented.
“She accepted without question, but I remain angry about [it] on her behalf.”
However, she added that she had received free school meals and an excellent education courtesy of the Church.
“That changed my life entirely and I will never forget it. May Peace be the message,” she concluded, inserting emojis of an olive branch-bearing dove.
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