Tributes paid to BBC’s Dianne Oxberry who died yesterday

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It's been announced this morning that BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry died yesterday at The Christie Hospital, following a short illness. She was 51.

She lived in Greater Manchester with her two children and her husband Ian Hindle, who paid tribute to her:

“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.”

A BBC spokesperson said that it had come as a “huge shock to everyone at the BBC in the North West. Our thoughts are with Dianne’s family.”

Only a few months ago she took part in North West Tonight’s “Plod for Pudsey”, raising money for Children in Need by walking 20 miles a day down the North West coastline.

“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,” added Aziz Rashid, head of BBC North West.

“For more than 20 years, viewers invited Dianne into their homes every night. She was a part of their lives. Just last November during our Plod for Pudsey challenge for Children in Need, Di was out meeting viewers around the region. I saw for myself the incredible reaction she got from the public, which showed how much people cared for her.”

While best known as BBC’s Weather presenter, Dianne began her career on BBC Radio.

Born in 1967 in Sunderland, she started out on Radio 1, working with Steve Wright and then becoming part of Simon Mayo’s on-air team for the weekday breakfast show. While there she picked up a Silver Sony Award.

This morning Simon Mayo said he was "devastated":

"She was a wonderful, joyous part of our breakfast team at Radio 1. I loved working with her. My condolences to her family."

In 1991, she moved back up North and met her husband while working as a presenter on the Saturday morning children’s television show, The 8.15 from Manchester.

After studying meteorology at the Met Office College, she became BBC North West Tonight’s first dedicated weather presenter in 1994.

 “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,” said Roger Johnson, presenter, North West Tonight.

“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.”

Annabel Tiffin, presenter, North West Tonight added:

“This is an enormous shock for all of us. I can scarcely believe Dianne has died. She was loved by our viewers, by all of us at North West Tonight. My heart breaks for her family.

“Di was so talented, so beautiful, so funny and so full of life. Onscreen 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.”

She also co-hosted the BBC Radio Manchester breakfast show as well as presenting North West Tonight, Inside Out and working as a reporter for BBC Sport, including the Great North Run and Manchester 10k.

“Dianne had a remarkable career. For more than two decades, she was a key part of one of the most watched regional news programmes in the country. Prior to that, she’d had a successful stint working on air at Radio 1,” said Helen Thomas, director of BBC England.

“She was a brilliant weather presenter, showed she could do serious journalism with Inside Out and could do the lighter end of broadcasting brilliantly whenever it was needed.

“Above all she was a lovely woman whose sudden and shocking death has robbed the BBC of one of our brightest stars. I’m thinking of all her family and friends at this awful time.” 

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