David Oyelowo explains why he calls Oprah his ‘Mummo’

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

David Oyelowo has told how he calls Oprah Winfrey his “Mummo” after her kindness towards his family when his mother had an aneurysm.

The actor’s mum had a brain aneurysm four years ago.

Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show, Oyelowo told how the US talk show star went and sat with her in hospital in London.

Oprah Winfrey (Ian West/PA)

He said: “To be honest, the reason I call her Mummo, this to me is what the heart of this season is and what she represents.

“My mum had a brain aneurysm about four years ago and she ended up passing from it.

“Oprah knew about this and she knew how much my mum meant to me.

“My mum was in hospital with my dad here in London. I was on set, I suddenly got a call from Oprah, she said, ‘I’m in London, I was on my way to South Africa, and I know your mum is here, right?’ She said, ‘I want to go and see her’.

“I told her where my mum was, she went, then called me again from the hospital lobby.

“I called my dad, ‘Oprah is coming to see mummy, get in the hospital now’. He was stuck in traffic. She was sat in the hospital lobby on her own. She called me and said, ‘Where’s your dad?’ I said, ‘He’s on his way, but he’s stuck in traffic’.”

He went on: “She said, ‘OK hold on David, just another selfie…’ literally while I was on the phone to her, she was getting more and more [people coming up to her]. She said, ‘I think I’m going to have to find somewhere to be’.”

Tearfully, the actor added: “She waited for my dad for an hour and a half and then spent two hours with my mum… That’s why she’s my Mummo.”

Oyelowo said Winfrey – who is godmother to his children – was tough to buy for at Christmas.

“It’s impossible,” he said. “The thing she really does love is words. If you write something from the heart that really moves her.”

The Jonathan Ross Show is on Christmas Eve at 9pm on ITV.