The BBC has announced that Dianne Oxberry, North West Tonight’s much-loved weather presenter, has died at the age of 51.
Dianne died at the Christie Hospital in Manchester yesterday after a short illness.
Having worked on North West Tonight since 1994, Dianne was one of the most familiar faces on regional television, and also fronted regional current affairs programme Inside Out North West.
Dianne lived in Greater Manchester with her husband Ian, a camera operator, and her two young children.
A BBC spokesperson said the news had come as a “huge shock to everyone at the BBC in the North West”.
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.
“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.”
Roger Johnson, North West Tonight presenter, led the tributes to Dianne from her colleagues at the BBC.
“We are heartbroken by Dianne’s death,” he said. “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.”
Annabel Tiffin, presenter, North West Tonight, 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. 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.”
Dianne filing a live report from Market House in Altrincham in 2015:
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.
“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.”
Born in Sunderland in 1967, Dianne worked at BBC Radio 1 alongside Steve Wright and Simon Mayo before moving north to present Saturday morning children’s TV show The 8:15 From Manchester.
She joined BBC North West Tonight after studying at the Met Office College and has also presented a number of programmes on BBC Radio Manchester including the Breakfast Show.
Helen Thomas, Director of BBC England, said: “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.
“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.”