BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry dies after short illness

Former Radio 1 and BBC Radio Manchester presenter Dianne Oxberry has died aged 51, after recently being diagnosed with cancer.

News of Dianne’s death was announced by BBC North West, where she has been the main regional TV weather presenter for the past 23 years.

In the early 90s, she was a household name across the UK for her role on the Radio 1 breakfast show alongside Simon Mayo and also as a presenter on the summer 1991 series of Saturday morning kids TV show ‘The 8.15 From Manchester’ on BBC One.

She had started at the BBC as a personal assistant at Radio 2, before a move to Radio 1 where her first on-air role was on Steve Wright In The Afternoon. She later moved to breakfast, joining Simon Mayo and newsreader Rod McKenzie.

Picture from @tompearson

The move to Manchester for TV work saw Dianne meet her future husband, a BBC cameraman. She then re-trained as a Met Office forecaster and moved into regional broadcasting as a weather presenter with BBC North West across television and radio outlets from 1995. She went on to also present the lunchtime show on BBC Radio Manchester in 2002 before a move to breakfast where she co-hosted with Eamonn O’Neal.

Ian Hindle, Dianne’s husband, 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, presenter, 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.”

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.”

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.”