BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry dies aged 51

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BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry dies aged 51

Image caption Dianne Oxberry was BBC North West Tonight's weather presenter for more than 20 years

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.

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Media captionThe BBC television and radio presenter died from cancer

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.

Skip Twitter post by @mrgordonburns

Totally, utterly, completely devastated. Just can’t believe we have lost the lovely hugely talented Dianne Oxberry. @BBCNWT will never be the same again. She was an outstanding broadcaster, brilliant colleague for so many years and a very good friend. Heartbroken.

— Gordon Burns (@mrgordonburns) January 11, 2019

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End of Twitter post by @mrgordonburns

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.

  • Your tributes to the BBC's Dianne Oxberry

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."

Image caption Dianne Oxberry, Ross King and Charlotte Hindle presented The 8.15 from Manchester in the 90s

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."

Image caption Dianne took part in a 100-mile relay walk for BBC Children in Need in November

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.

Skip Twitter post by @lemnsissay

She saw and named storms
With calm and hazel eyes
I shalln't think her as 'passed away'
I'll think of her as sun rise#BBCNorthWestTonight #DianneOxberry pic.twitter.com/Xe9anL2dhJ

— lemn sissay MBE (@lemnsissay) January 11, 2019

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End of Twitter post by @lemnsissay

Skip Twitter post by @Guy_Garvey

Terribly sad news about Dianne Oxberry. I met her when making a r4 doc called The Rainy City and she put my dad on the weather map which all the family dine out on still. A lovely person. Love to all her family and friends . @BBCNWT pic.twitter.com/z3EwjF2RUw

— Guy Garvey (@Guy_Garvey) January 11, 2019

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End of Twitter post by @Guy_Garvey

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."

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Media captionDianne Oxberry died from cancer aged 51

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".

Image caption Radio 1 DJs, including Dianne Oxberry, gathered for the station's 25th birthday in 1992

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