Richard Branson pays tribute to mother Eve, 96, after her death from Covid and ...

Richard Branson has paid touching tribute to his beloved mother Eve, saying she was an 'extraordinary woman'.

The billionaire, 70, revealed his mum, who gave him £100 to start his business, had died from coronavirus aged 96 on Monday in a heartfelt statement on Twitter.

Speaking about his loss on The One Show on Thursday, Richard gushed that he was a 'lucky son' to have been able to name Virgin Galactic's mothership after her.

'She was extraordinary': Richard Branson has paid touching tribute to his beloved late mother Eve after her death at 96 during an appearance on The One Show on Thursday

'She was extraordinary': Richard Branson has paid touching tribute to his beloved late mother Eve after her death at 96 during an appearance on The One Show on Thursday

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Richard also credited Eve with helping him launch his company Virgin and reflected on her incredible life.

He said: 'Well, first of all pretty much every family in Britain has been touched by Covid. So our family is no different from any other. 

'She was an extraordinary woman like most mums are. I owe Virgin to her, we didn't have any money. One day she found a necklace in Guildford high street. 

'She took it to police and three months later given it back. She sold it for £100 and gave the money to me, I was 16 at the time.

Family bond: The billionaire, 70, credited Eve with helping him launch his company Virgin and said he was 'lucky' to have been able to name the mothership Virgin Galactic after her

Family bond: The billionaire, 70, credited Eve with helping him launch his company Virgin and said he was 'lucky' to have been able to name the mothership Virgin Galactic after her

'She was an extraordinary lady. In the second World War she dressed up as a man to become a glider pilot. She got away for it for a few months despite being a very attractive glider pilot.' 

When presenter Alex Jones asked what his mum thought about his business, Richard replied: 'I think she was proud. The mothership Virgin Galactic will be taking people to space, and myself, in a few months time. 

'It's called Eve after her. I’m lucky to be a son who can take his mum to such an event and unveil it and let her see that the mothership is named Eve after her.

'She was proud but we were even more proud of her she set up foundations in Morocco. She was teaching people to learn crafts... I'm lucky, she was extraordinary.'  

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Touching: When asked if Eve was proud of his business' success, Richard said he thinks she was but that the family were 'even more proud of her'

Touching: When asked if Eve was proud of his business' success, Richard said he thinks she was but that the family were 'even more proud of her'

The first WhiteKnightTwo, called VMS Eve, was launched in 2008 and has completed an extensive test flight program, according to Virgin's website.   

News of Eve's death was announced on Monday, with her last seen in a Christmas Eve video filmed at her daughter Vanessa's house in West Sussex where she spoke enthusiastically about her love of Bell's whisky. 

Richard revealed his mother's death on Twitter, and wrote in a post: 'I'm sorry to share that, sadly like a lot of people's mums and dads right now in these days of Covid, my mum Eve has also passed away. 

'Rather than mourn her loss, I wanted to celebrate her wonderful life & the joy she brought to so many.' 

Eve died in the UK with her granddaughter Holly saying she passed away on Friday. 

Richard said: 'It's [the spaceship] called Eve after her. I’m lucky to be a son who can take his mum to such an event and unveil it and let her see that the mothership is named Eve after her'

Richard said: 'It's [the spaceship] called Eve after her. I’m lucky to be a son who can take his mum to such an event and unveil it and let her see that the mothership is named Eve after her'

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