Mystic Meg, Famous TV Astrologer, Dead at 80

Margaret Lake, the British astrologer better known as Mystic Meg, has died. Lake passed away on the morning of Thursday, March 9, a month after she was admitted to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London to be treated for the flu, according to The Guardian. Lake was 80.

Born in Lancashire on July 27, 1942, making her star sign Leo, Lake was taught astrology by her grandmother and rose to stardom after she began offering horoscope readings over the phone in 1989, a service that broke BT records, per the Daily Mail. She went on to become a household name in the '90s when she began presenting Mystic Meg Predicts on the National Lottery. The 45-second slot saw Lake emerge from a cloud of smoke and look into a crystal ball to predict a future winner. She presented Mystic Meg Predicts from 1994 to 2000. Lake was also an astrologer for the News of the World until 2011, released several books – Mystic Meg's Astrolife and Mystic Meg's Lucky Numbers For Love Life And The Lottery – and had her predictions featured in publications in Australia and the US. She worked with runes, crystal balls, I Ching, tarot and numerology, per the BBC.

"Without any question, she was Britain's most famous astrologer by a million miles. Nobody came close to Meg in that respect. She was followed by millions in this country and also around the world," Lake's agent, Dave Shapland, said. "She even became part of the English language – if a politician, somebody from showbiz or ordinary people in the street are asked a tricky question they will say: 'Who do you think I am, Mystic Meg?'"

Amid her passing tributes have poured in for the famed astrologer. Piers Morgan described Lake as a "fascinatingly mysterious lady who loved her work with a passion but was rarely seen or heard in public," adding that he "was her editor at the News of the World for several years and she was extraordinarily professional in everything she did. A master of her very popular craft." Victoria Newton, editor for The Sun, called Lake's death "devastating," sharing, "we have lost an icon. Our brilliant and incomparable Meg was synonymous with the Sun – she was a total legend. We loved her and so did our readers. For more than two decades Mystic Meg has been a must-read column and cemented her as Britain's most famous astrologer." One fan tweeted, "I don't know who's idea it was to have Mystic Meg on the National Lottery but it was a stroke of theatrical genius. She's right up there with Elvira. It was a perfectly executed piece of character performance and it thrilled me to see her each Saturday night. Rest up, Meg."