Friends and former colleagues have described Katy Jones, the award-winning documentary-maker and BBC producer who has died suddenly, as “one of the finest journalists of her generation”.

Jones, who was an executive producer for MediaCityUK-based BBC Learning and in charge of the Ten Pieces project, passed away on Friday after suffering what the Manchester Evening News says was a brain haemorrhage.

She leaves husband Mike Spencer, also a television producer, and two children, Huw and Sarah. She was 51.

Katy Jones

Katy Jones

There have been many tributes to Jones on social media. Mike Bracken, executive director of digital in the Cabinet Office, said that she was a “huge talent” while Granada Reports presenter Lucy Meacock said she was “one of the finest journalists of her generation”.

BBC Home duty editor Neil Henderson described her as “an inspiring journalist and programme maker”, and was “an inspiration to me and many others”.

Laurence Bowen, co-founder of Feelgood Fiction production company, said she was a “brilliant, talented, inspiring woman”, while charity fundraiser Kirsty Ashton MBE said she “provided everyone in Learning with smiles”.

Jones had been involved with the BBC for the past five years after working as an investigative journalist and factual producer for more than two decades.

Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning, said: “We are deeply saddened and shocked at the death of our friend and colleague Katy Jones.

“Katy was a hugely talented programme maker and journalist – well known and respected across the industry. She was passionate about education and learning and her enthusiasm, energy and determination knew no bounds.

Sinead Rocks

Sinead Rocks

“Katy was the driving force behind our award winning Ten Pieces campaign and was a key member of the BBC Learning and BBC Music Senior teams. Our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.”

Her reputation had been forged at Granada in the early 90s, where she was an investigative journalist and then producer on more than 25 programmes for World in Action.

She was the factual producer of Jimmy McGovern’s Hillsborough drama documentary, for which she won a BAFTA, and produced a number of other award-winning factual dramas including McGovern’s Sunday.

She also worked as executive producer on Red Production Company’s RIP Boy and The Mark of Cain, and for five years was the managing director of Manchester production company Child’s Eye Media.

In 2010, Jones was invited to be part of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, the body established to oversee the release of the documents relating to the 1989 disaster.

Since joining the BBC staff in 2011, she commissioned over 130 programmes for BBC Learning and devised and was an executive producer on Doctor Who Script to Screen, a national script writing competition for children.

She was appointed to lead Ten Pieces in 2013, a BBC Learning and BBC Music initiative which aims to introduce a generation of children to classical music.

Some of the tributes to Katy Jones on Twitter: