Zoe Ball and husband Norman Cook announce separation 'with great sadness' but will remain neighbours

Zoe Ball and her DJ husband Norman Cook – better known as Fatboy Slim – have announced their separation after 18 years together.

The pair said they remained “great friends” in a statement posted on Twitter, adding they “will continue to support each other and raise our beautiful children together, living next door but one”.

Zoe and Norman wed in 1999 and have two children together.

The statement added: “With great sadness we are announcing that we have separated. After many exciting adventures together over the last 18 years we have come to the end of our rainbow.”

Earlier this year Zoe, 45, spoke of the couple’s future plans, saying they hoped to run a “pub, come post-office, come pet shop” when they retired.

The Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host has in the past paid tribute to 53-year-old Norman as “a very patient man”, following a number of rocky patches in their relationship.

They split for a few months in 2003 after she had an affair with DJ Dan Peppe, and was pictured in December having a drunken kiss with 22-year-old Tay Tay Starzh of boyband Franklin Lake.

But Zoe insisted the pair had laughed off the slip-up, saying: “He (Norman) has always said he wants his gravestone to read: ‘Norman was a very patient man.’ And that sums it up really!”

After the picture emerged she told how the pair had a “good understanding of each other” and said the reasons they met and fell in love initially were still there.

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