By Ben Chapman
Published: 17/03/2023- 19:19
Trending on GB News
GB News presenter Michelle Dewberry has paid an emotional tribute to her friend and CEO of Ann Summers, Jacqueline Gold, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 62.
The businesswoman died after seven years of treatment for breast cancer.
Gold was known for leading lingerie brand Ann Summers and growing the retailer into a prominent feature on UK high streets.
Speaking on Dewbs & Co, Michelle said the 62-year-old is an “inspirational” figure.
Michelle Dewberry says Jacqueline Gold was an 'inspiration'
“It’s a lady who I have so much admiration and respect for,” she said.
“She was a huge champion of women in business, CEO of Ann Summers, a shop which one or two of you might have indulged in.
“A couple of the parties, if any of you have been to an Ann Summers party, what went on at those parties stayed at those parties.
“She was a huge inspiration to me as I told her often. She was very kind, she came and did an interview with me not long after we launched here on GB News.
“I could have talked to her all night long. She was such a lovely lady and I highly recommend you reading her autobiography.
“Tomorrow is never guaranteed, remember. So Jacqueline, I do hope you rest in peace.”
A family statement said: “It is with unspeakable sadness that Ann Summers confirm our amazing executive chair Jacqueline Gold CBE passed away yesterday evening with her husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, sister Vanessa, and brother-in-law Nick, by her side.”
Her sister Vanessa said: “Jacqueline courageously battled stage four breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey.
“In life she was a trailblazer, a visionary, and the most incredible woman, all of which makes this news that much harder to bear.
“As a family, we are utterly heartbroken at the loss of our wife, mum, sister, and best friend.”
The Ann Summers brand was initially developed by David and Ralph Gold, her father and uncle, after snapping up the retailer’s early business following liquidation in 1972.
In 1981, Jacqueline Gold first joined the business on an internship.
After the first joining the operation, Ms Gold launched the Ann Summers party to grow the brand.
Around ten years later, Ms Gold was then made a director of the business before swiftly being named as its chief executive officer.
She continued to lead the business, which has 81 stores, in recent years as executive chair alongside her sister Vanessa, who is now chief executive officer.
She was made an CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.
Ms Gold’s death comes just two months after that of her father David Gold, the joint-chairman of West Ham United, at the age of 86.