Award-winning BBC television and radio presenter Dianne Oxberry has died from cancer aged 51, her family has confirmed.
She died at the Christie hospital in Manchester on Thursday morning.
Oxberry became well-known nationally on Radio 1, working alongside Simon Mayo and Steve Wright, during the 1980s.
After studying meteorology, she joined BBC North West Tonight in 1994 as a weather presenter and fronted Inside Out North West’s current affairs show.
BBC North West Tonight (NWT) presenters Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin said they were “heartbroken”.
Former presenter Gordon Burns, who worked with Oxberry on NWT after leaving The Krypton Factor, posted a tribute on Twitter.
After her time at Radio 1 in London, Sunderland-born Oxberry returned north to Greater Manchester in 1993 with her husband, cameraman Ian Hindle.
The couple, who have two young children, met in Manchester while she was co-presenting the Saturday morning children’s television show, The 8:15 From Manchester.
Mr Hindle said: “Dianne was an amazing wife and mother who embraced life to the full.
“She was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her but also to the people who watched and welcomed her into their homes each night as if she were part of their family too.
“She will leave a massive void in our lives but because of the remarkable person she was she will forever live on in our hearts.
“The children and I will miss her more than anyone can imagine.”
Oxberry recently took part in a 100-mile relay walk for Children in Need completing the challenge with her NWT colleagues.
Roger Johnson said: “We are heartbroken by Dianne’s death. It is almost impossible to comprehend. Dianne was North West Tonight. It’s hard to imagine the programme without her.
“Our thoughts are with Ian and all of Dianne’s family. We hope they will find some comfort in the knowledge so many people loved Dianne and will miss her terribly.”
Tiffin added: “Di was so talented, so beautiful, so funny and so full of life. On screen she was a star, radiating warmth and good humour. Off screen, she was a wonderful colleague, a loyal friend and I will miss her terribly.”
BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo said: “There was a spark in the studio when she was there and I think everyone is very devastated that she has gone.
“She was very intelligent, she was very sharp and very charismatic and that huge warmth is what listeners and viewers will take away.
“A lot of people on Twitter this morning were saying they grew up with Dianne, they felt as if they knew her and she was the friend on the radio and the television and you can’t say better than that.”
Manchester poet Lemn Sissay tweeted a poem about Oxberry and Elbow singer Guy Garvey shared his memories of working with her as tributes poured in on social media.
Broadcaster Clare Balding said Oxberry was “a courageous warrior on behalf of women fighting for equality”, adding: “Her star will shine on.”
Football pundit Mark Lawrenson tweeted that he was “stunned”.
“I’ve worked with Ian Hindle, her husband on many occasions and my thoughts are with him and the kids… RIP.”
In an emotional interview on BBC Radio Manchester, Johnson quoted comedian Peter Kay, who invaded her live forecasts on a few occasions, once hugging her and telling her: “God love Dianne Oxberry – you made the sun shine for everybody!”
Johnson said: “For me, those words are Dianne’s epitaph: ‘God Love Dianne Oxberry – she made the sun shine for everybody.'”
Aziz Rashid, head of BBC North West, said: “We are all devastated by this dreadful news. The coming days will be difficult but we will do our best to pay tribute to someone who meant so much to us all and made such an enormous contribution to broadcasting in the North West.”
In a long career, Oxberry interviewed a young Take That for their first major network appearance on The 8:15 from Manchester.
She also worked with BBC Sport, covering the Great North Run and the Manchester 10k.
In 2002, she was asked to present BBC Radio Manchester’s lunchtime show. She then co-hosted the station’s breakfast show with Eamonn O’Neal between 2006 and 2008.
She loved spending time with animals, in particular her beloved horses, and described herself on Twitter as a “full-time pet-collector”.
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