Tributes paid following shock death of BBC TV and radio presenter Dianne Oxberry

Dianne Oxberry, pictured at BBC Salford. Photo: Claire Wood Photography Ltd.
Dianne Oxberry, pictured at BBC Salford. Photo: Claire Wood Photography Ltd.

Tributes have been paid to TV and radio presenter Dianne Oxberry, who has died aged just 51.

Dianne originally joined the BBC as a personal assistant at Radio 2 but began her broadcasting career alongside Steve Wright on Radio 1, before joining Simon Mayo's breakfast show team.

She moved to North West Tonight in 1994, where she worked until her death.

She was the main weather presenter on the programme and also fronted regional current affairs show Inside Out North West.

Dianne, who lived in Greater Manchester, died at Manchester's Christie Hospital yesterday, the BBC said.

Her husband, Ian 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."

Mr Hindle, a camera operator, added: "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." Dianne Oxberry joined North West Tonight after studying at the Met Office College.

She also presented a number of programmes on BBC Radio Manchester, including the Breakfast Show.

Roger Johnson, a presenter on North West Tonight, 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."

Fellow presenter Annabel Tiffin said: "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. 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."

Aziz Rashid, Head of BBC North West, added: "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.

"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."

Prof Brian Cox was among those paying tribute today on Twitter: "Very sad to hear Diane Oxberry has died," he wrote. "Anyone who has lived in the North West over the last 20 years or so will know what a superb broadcaster she was."