Award-winning BBC television and radio presenter Dianne Oxberry has died aged 51 following a short illness, her family said.
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.
After studying meteorology she became the North West’s weather presenter in 1994 and also fronted the Inside Out North West current affairs programme.
Fellow BBC North West Tonight presenters Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin said they were heartbroken and it was hard to imagine the programme without her.
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.
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.”
Oxberry recently took part in a 100-mile relay walk for Children In Need with colleagues Annabel Tiffin and Roger Johnson.
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: “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, 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.
“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.”
Oxberry also worked as a reporter for 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 flagship breakfast show with Eamonn O’Neal between 2006 and 2008.
Apart from family and work, she loved spending time with animals, in particular her beloved horses.
She described herself on Twitter as a “full-time pet-collector”.