Inside James Morrison's Relationship With His Partner, Gill Catchpole

The following article contains references to suicide.

British singer James Morrison captured the hearts of fans in 2006 with his breakthrough single, "You Give Me Something." Over the years, he went on to collaborate with big names like Nelly Furtado and Jessie J. While success seemingly came easy for this guitar-strumming crooner, there was always one thing keeping him grounded — his longtime partner, Gill Catchpole. The pair had been together since Morrison was a teenager, sharing the ups and downs of normal family life as well as navigating his rise to fame in the mid-2000s. Sadly, tragedy struck in January 2024 when Catchpole was found dead in their Cotswolds home. She leaves behind her husband and their two young daughters. 

It makes a sorrowful ending to their love story that started nearly two decades ago. While Catchpole has largely stayed out of the limelight, preferring a normal life (she ran a simple cafe business in their locality), Morrison has remained active in the music scene over the years, releasing a greatest hits album in 2022. Their relationship certainly didn't have a conventional start, but Morrison once claimed they had a "fairytale" start.

In later years, serious health scares, infertility struggles, and other troubles occurred. Here's a closer look at what we know about the singer's life with his late partner. 

The couple met in an unconventional way

While there's certainly no one way of striking up a romance, the beginning of James Morrison's romance with Gill Catchpole wasn't exactly conventional. The pair met when the singer was just 17 years old. At that point, he loved to sing but was miles away from the hitmaker he would become. As for Catchpole, she first locked eyes on her future husband when she moved into his mom's house as a roommate. There is a 6-year age gap between them, putting Catchpole in her early 20s at the time. 

During an appearance on Kate Thornton's podcast, "The White Wine Question Time," in 2021, Morrison recalled, "It wasn't the easiest start, but I just still see it as a really romantic thing. I'm not very romantic. ... But I do find certain things romantic and the fact that we met each other the way we did. It's like a little fairytale or something!" Sadly for the young upstart, Catchpole was in a relationship at the time, so he had to wait it out. 

According to the musician, he tried to sing his way into her heart by belting out tunes down the hallway of his mother's house. It may have taken a little while, but when they eventually got together.

James Morrison fell in love with Gill Catchpole as soon as he 'set eyes on her'

James Morrison was smitten with Gill Catchpole from the moment they met. As the singer told Kate Thornton on the "White Wine Question Time" podcast, "I didn't want to tell her that I fell in love with her the first moment I set eyes on her because I didn't know, I'd never felt in love before. ... It was like a massive moment for me to even tell her that I liked her."

Considering how green Morrison was with relationships at the time, it's hardly surprising that his feelings felt so overwhelming. However, the attraction was reciprocated. Once Catchpole became single, they were able to see what was between them. The singer admitted that while their connection was immediate, he had to wait a while to find out if she felt the same way. "I wasn't going out with her for the first year or so she lived there," he explained on the podcast. "She was with her boyfriend, so I was getting to know her."

It turned out to be more than simple mutual interest, though, as they went on to get engaged and build a life together over the next two decades that seemingly secured their position as one of the most solid relationships in show business. That's no easy feat considering just how complex celebrity marriages can be (just ask Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie).

James Morrison's mom dated Gill Catchpole's ex

Moving into someone's home and striking up a relationship with your landlord's son isn't exactly on most people's to-do list, but that's just the way things worked out for Gill Catchpole. It's certainly a story to tell, but the complicated way the relationship blossomed doesn't begin and end there. This part of the tale involves James Morrison's mom, but not in the way you might think. She didn't put her foot down and forbid her roommate from dating her son — because she was busy dating Catchpole's ex. 

In one of the strangest partner swap stories known to man, Morrison confessed on Kate Thornton's "White Wine Question Time" podcast that, one day, his mother asked him to pick her up after a date. By this point, Morrison was officially dating Catchpole and had no idea what his mom was up to. He confessed, "So I have to go and pick my mum up from my girlfriend's ex's house, and it was the most awkward thing!"

That doesn't sound like a situation anyone would like to be put in, but thankfully, the singer was able to see the humor in it. It doesn't seem like the date turned into a more serious love affair, but perhaps if it had, Morrison might have a slightly different stance on the entire experience!

They never officially tied the knot

Love stories can play out differently for everyone, and there's no set path to take. While some prefer taking a traditional route and having a big white wedding in front of hundreds of friends and family, it's not for everyone. Sometimes, being committed to one another is enough. Not all couples desire to go through the legalities and rigmarole of a formal union. It looks as though James Morrison and Gill Catchpole fell into the latter category. While the pair wore wedding rings, remained together for almost two decades, and considered themselves fully dedicated to one another, they never officially tied the knot — though it wasn't exactly off the cards.  

The couple was actually engaged for 17 years at the time of Catchpole's death in 2024, but in a 2019 interview with the Mirror, the singer expressed hopes that they would eventually make it down the aisle. "Even though we've been engaged for 13 years, Gill and I will get married one day," he said. "We may have had some wobbles, but everything we've been through, we're closer than ever." Sadly, though, that one day would never come.

James Morrison and Gill Catchpole welcomed two children

For James Morrison and Gill Catchpole, growing their family was a no-brainer. The pair welcomed their first child, Elsie, in 2008. At the time, the most popular social media platform was MySpace so, naturally, the singer took to his page to let fans know of his joyous news. As recounted by People, the singer wrote, "The birth of little Elsie has been absolutely life-changing. Everything has been put into perspective." The new father went on to gush about how becoming a dad had totally shifted his perspective on everything. He called his daughter the "love of [his] life" and dubbed her the "best gift [he has] ever received." At the time, the new dad was 24 years old.

Being a private person, Catchpole did not issue a statement or take publicly to social media about the birth of her first child, but it's safe to assume she was equally elated. The family waited some time for a sibling for Elsie, with the couple welcoming another daughter, Ada, in 2018. Though the sisters have a 10-year age gap between them, they appear to have a close bond in photos shared to Catchpole's Facebook page.

They struggled with infertility for years

Becoming a parent happens easily for some people, but for one in six people, it can be a much more complex journey that takes years. While James Morrison and Gill Catchpole had their eldest daughter, Elsie Morrison, in 2008, but the pair struggled to have a second child. In fact, they suffered two devastating miscarriages before they had their second daughter, Ava. During an interview with the Mirror after Ava's birth in 2019, the singer recalled how difficult those losses were. "The aftermath of losing a baby was really difficult," he said. "After one of them was lost we had to wait a week to have an operation to get it out. It was horrendous."

These turbulent times resulted in the couple deciding they weren't going to try for any more kids, but Catchpole happened to become pregnant the very next day. Though Morrison was elated, he said it was a difficult pregnancy, and he often felt they may lose her. They frequently had to visit the hospital while expecting Ada to check on Catchpole's health. The musician admitted that while he tried to be strong, he often cried alone. 

In the end, Ada was born three months premature, and despite doctors preparing the couple for all sorts of possible complications, Ada grew to be a healthy, happy child. Interestingly, her older sister was also born prematurely. "Elsie was 4lbs 3oz and when I saw her I thought she was the smallest baby I'd ever seen," Morrison said of his firstborn, who was born a month early. Morrison himself was also born prematurely.

Gill Catchpole almost died in 2018

Though Gill Catchpole's death in 2024 shocked all of us, James Morrison was confronted with the possibility of losing his partner years earlier. At the time of the birth of their second daughter, Ada, it was touch and go as to whether Catchpole would make it. As highlighted, Ada was born prematurely. Doctors decided to deliver the baby via C-section as she was breach, making a natural delivery very risky. Little did they know the complications that this would bring. While many C-sections go off without a hitch, Catchpole experienced complications.

In an interview with the Mirror in 2019, Morrison detailed the traumatic event, explaining that Catchpole's blood pressure plummeted to an almost heart-stopping level when surgeons accidentally cut through the umbilical cord. "Gill said, 'I'm going', and there were tears in her eyes," he explained. "I was a mess. But after the transfusion, her blood pressure went back up quickly." He went on to praise Catchpole, calling her a "hero" and saying he was in awe of her strength. "She's my rock. ... I could never replace her," he added.

Given just how testing this time was for the family, who weren't able to hold Ada for some time after her birth, it's not surprising that Morrison called his next album "You're Stronger Than You Know." At the time, he said it was to remind the couple of how tough they were during this unprecedented part of their lives. 

Gill Catchpole underwent a kidney transplant in 2022

As James Morrison revealed to the Mirror, one of Gill Catchpole's kidneys functioned at just 35% while she was pregnant with the couple's second daughter. The singer didn't go into further details about this element of Catchpole's health during this period of time, but later in late 2023, Catchpole revealed that she'd had a kidney transplant a year earlier. Taking to the Facebook business page of her cafe, the Cotswold Sandwich Box, Catchpole elaborated on the operation and her health struggles. "Well, what can I say? What a difference a year makes," she wrote in the November 2023 post. "This time last year I was having my kidney transplant and a year on after many ups and downs and heartache I am here owning my own business." 

She went on to say that while she had never expected to be in the positive position she was by the end of 2023, she was grateful to friends and family for helping to "[pick] up the many pieces of [her] and [her] life." It couldn't have been easy for the business owner and mother of two to get through her health struggles. By her account, it seemed she was looking forward to better times. 

Some fans may have picked up on Catchpole's use of the term "heartache," believing Morrison and Catchpole were no longer together at the time of her death in January 2024. 

The pair were rumored to have split prior to Gill Catchpole's death

For many years, it looked like Gill Catchpole and James Morrison were in a relationship that would last a lifetime. After all, many relationships don't survive a rise to fame, but theirs seemed to. While there was never an official statement made about a separation akin to how some celebs like to address it, there are several factors that led fans to think the couple weren't together at the time of the business owner's death in 2024.

The last photo Catchpole shared of herself with the singer was in October 2022. A year later, as mentioned, Catchpole shared how she'd experienced heartbreak. Catchpole's personal Facebook profile also listed her relationship status as single. In summer 2023, Catchpole was also photographed with her wedding ring noticeably absent, according to the Daily Mail. What's more, the outlet reported that the mother of two was looking for a rental property in the Whitminster area of Gloucestershire, England, just a couple of days before her death, although the reason is not publicly known.

Of course, the only people who know for sure are Morrison and those closest to the pair. As of this writing, Morrison has not issued a statement about the pair's relationship nor his partner's death.

Gill Catchpole died at her and James Morrison's home in early 2024

When news broke of Gill Catchpole's shocking death in January 2024, it seemed like a bolt from the blue. Although Catchpole had had some health struggles over the years, she appeared to be looking forward to a bright new future with her business. However, Gloucestershire police issued a statement to the Mirror via a spokesperson, explaining, "Police were called to Whitminster in Gloucester at around 9:10 am on Friday (5 January) following concerns for the welfare of a resident. Officers attended and the body of a woman in her 40s was found within an address."

Additional information later followed. Her death was ruled a suicide by the coroner, the Mirror reported on January 9. The outlet revealed that Morrison went to their shared home after a friend expressed concern that they couldn't gain entry. Sadly, he found his partner deceased inside. 

A source told the Mirror that the singer was understandably devastated but "holding it together" for his two young daughters as they face a new reality without their mother by their side. Reports reveal that he has canceled upcoming work commitments.

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