It was a truly emotional night for Gordon Burns as he struggled to hold back the tears when paying tribute to Dianne Oxberry.
The former weather presenter and co-presenter of Burns’ died after a battle with cancer, yesterday aged only 51.
Burns was the chief anchorman of BBC’s North West Tonight for 24 year, until his retirement in 2001, and returned to his former employment, on last time, to pay tribute to his former colleague.
In the programme the 76-year-old, along with other former colleagues of Dianne, shared their beloved memories for the mum-of-two taken too soon.
He said: “The whole region is so shocked, devastated and heart-broken. I just cannot believe it. I used to say to her how she had such a huge following and she would sort of dismiss it.
“She was such an outstanding broadcaster. She was brilliant. When she looked down the camera she connected with the people who were watching.
“There has never been a better weather forecaster than Dianne. She just connected with everybody. She had such grace and humour, but she also didn’t take any prisoners.
“This programme will never be quite the same again. All our thoughts and our love are with [Dianne’s husband] Ian and her children. I cannot bear the thought of what they are going through. Totally heartbroken.”
Dianne was one of the most recognisable faces in regional television and, from the tributes, you can see she truly touched the lives of her colleagues.
Burns was also one of the first to send a tribute to the life of Dianne on Twitter saying he was ‘devastated’ and ‘heartbroken‘ by the news.
During an earlier segment on the show the BBC reporter Stuart Flinders gave his tribute to Dianne.
He said: “The weather was always bright with Dianne Oxberry. She was at the heart of the North West Tonight family for nearly a quarter of a century.“
Before becoming a weather presenter Dianne started her career at Radio 1 alongside Steve Wright and Simon Mayo.
Dianne’s husband Ian Hindle spoke to the BBC about the loss of his wife.
He 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.”
Featured Image Credit: BBC NWT