The mum-of-two was one of the most recognised faces on north west TV
Much-loved TV presenter Dianne Oxberry has died aged 51, the BBC has confirmed.
Dianne was one of the most recognised faces on TV in the region after working on North West Tonight for more than 20 years.
After starting her career at Radio 1, where she worked alongside Steve Wright and Simon Mayo, she became the channel’s first dedicated weather presenter in 1995.
The BBC confirmed Dianne died yesterday at The Christie Hospital in Manchester after a short battle with illness.
A native of Sunderland, Dianne had made her home in Sale, Trafford, with husband Ian Hindle, a camera operator, and their two young children.
Ian 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.”
The news will come as a devastating shock to fans as the bubbly presenter had been seen in public only a matter of weeks before she died.
As recently as December 13, Dianne was still active on social media, replying to a tweet from fellow BBC presenter Rachel Burden by telling her: “If ever there was an antidote to airbrushed celebrity photos it’s your social media feed. Keeping it real every minute of every day. Love it.”
In November, she and colleagues Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin led a 100-mile relay walk through streets, villages and town centres of the north west to raise money for BBC Children in Need.
“We are heartbroken by Dianne’s death. It is almost impossible to comprehend,” said Roger.
“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 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.”
Before her hugely successful career in television, Dianne studied meteorology at the Met Office College in Berkshire.
She moved north to present Saturday morning children’s TV show ‘The 8:15 From Manchester’ and met husband Ian.
Dianne joined North West Tonight in 1994 and quickly became a household name.
In recent years, she also presented a number of programmes on BBC Radio Manchester including the Breakfast Show and reported for BBC Sport covering the Great North Run and the Manchester 10k.
Dianne was widely recognised for her work including a nomination for Best Regional Presenter at the Royal Television Society Awards.
Away from the BBC, she was in demand hosting award ceremonies such as the North West Sports Awards, the North West Tourism Awards, the National Training Awards, The Teaching Awards, and Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards.
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.”
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.”
In 2013, Dianne spoke to the M.E.N after landing her hard-hitting role on BBC documentary series Inside Out.
“I love Manchester, it’s got everything. It’s so friendly, relatively compact and perfectly placed. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” she told us.
Reflecting on being a recognisable face in public, she added: “It’s great if people think they know me and feel that connection. That’s part and parcel of my role and I’ll always chat to people who come up to me.”