Denise Welch on being “the Virgin Mary” to The 1975 fans

Matty Healy‘s mum Denise Welch has said that she is seen as “the Virgin Mary” among The 1975‘s fanbase.

During a new interview with BBC News, the Loose Women panellist and former Coronation Street star spoke about being recognised as the mother of the Manchester band’s frontman.

“With Matthew’s fans, it’s, ‘There is the Virgin Mary – there is the woman who gave birth to the Messiah,” she explained. “I’ve had people in the foyer of The O2 touch me and burst into tears.”

Welch continued: “He provokes this hero worship, to the point that the fact that I actually produced him in my body gives me that sort of reverence – and it’s quite hysterical. I do enjoy having a bit of fun with that.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, she recalled how The 1975’s song ‘She Lays Down’ (2016) had been inspired by the post-natal depression she suffered after giving birth to Healy in 1989.

Welch said she was “heartbroken” when she first heard the track, adding: “If I hear it now, it makes me cry.”

The actor and presenter has been spotted at numerous 1975 gigs, and often posts about her son’s group online. Last year, Welch shared an image of herself with Taylor Swift and Florence Welch backstage at Healy and co’s show in London. She also enjoyed a viral “Eva Perón moment” when she greeted fans at a concert in Brighton on the same tour.

In November, Welch revealed that Healy missed her third wedding in 2013 to support The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park: “And it hurt me but I completely understood. It was a dilemma for both of us and it was hard, but I would never have said, ‘You’ve got to [come]’ because the band was on the up.”

Welch said back in 2018 that her battle with depression and alcoholism could have prevented Healy and The 1975 from being successful because of the “worry and anxiety” it caused.

Speaking to NME in 2022, the frontman – whose father is Auf Wiedersehen, Pet actor Tim Healy – remembered how his “transition to fame was different” due to him having famous parents.

“My mum was on Celebrity Big Brother, which was just catnip for fucking nutcases, obviously, on the internet,” Healy explained. “They would just find me and send me messages. So I changed my name on Facebook to something obscure [Truman Black].”

The musician went on to say that he’d always found fame to be “a bore”, adding: “I love people liking what I do, but I’m not interested in being famous. I think that’s why I try and subvert [fame] sometimes.”

You can watch NME‘s video interview with Healy in full above.

The 1975
The 1975 (Picture: Samuel Bradley / Press)

Last summer, Healy’s dad joined The 1975 on stage at Finsbury Park in London for a rendition of ‘All I Need To Hear’ after doing the same at a gig in New York the previous year.

Back in 2020, Matty Healy talked about his father co-writing the song ‘Don’t Worry’ from The 1975’s fourth album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’. “Although my dad was never into punk, my dad’s always been very punk,” he said.

The 1975 are currently out on their 2024 ‘Still… At Their Very Best’ UK tour, with The Japanese House supporting. You can find any remaining tickets here.

In other news, the band recently shared a cover of ‘Now Is The Hour’ from Jack Antonoff‘s soundtrack to The New Look.


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