Former Blue Peter presenter Caron dies of cancer

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Former TV presenter Caron Keating died last night after losing her battle with breast cancer, family friend Peter Powell said today.

The former Blue Peter presenter and daughter of Gloria Hunniford was 42. A statement issued by her family this morning said that her death had left an "unfilled void".

The family said: "At 6.15pm last night broadcaster Caron Keating sadly lost her seven-year battle against cancer, a battle that she fought with enormous courage, tenacity and optimism.

"She passed away at her mother's home in Sevenoaks, in Kent, surrounded by her family."

She was the mother of two boys, Charlie, aged nine, and seven-year-old Gabriel, and was married to Russ Lindsay.

Ms Keating, who spent the last two years in Australia, was the former presenter of ITV1's This Morning.

She was also a regular stand in for Judy on This Morning for several years.

Ms Keating appeared in shows such as Holiday, We Can Work It Out, Summer Scene and Attractions, as well as working as an entertainments correspondent for Carlton TV.

Today Ms Keating's family said she had been a "total inspiration".

They said: "Her husband and children were by her side throughout and her brothers Michael and Paul have been a constant support during her illness.

"Caron made a lasting impact on everyone she met, wherever she lived.

"She was a beautiful, fun loving, and spirited individual who throughout the last seven years has been a total inspiration to her family and friends."

The family said: "Caron had a great sense of family and relished being a mother and wife.

"It goes without saying that she will leave an unfilled void in the family circle, but she leaves a legacy of wonderful memories and love, which will stay with us all our lives."

Keating also presented chat show Family Affairs with her mother.

The former presenter spent the last two years in the sunshine of Byron Bay, Australia, with her husband and children, although her family home remained in Fowey, Cornwall.

Broadcaster Terry Wogan said Keating's death came as a terrible shock.

"She had glorious qualities of charm and vivacity," he said. "It's hard to believe that someone with all these qualities, and still so young, has passed away."

Wogan said he had fond memories of working with Keating covering the Olympic Games in Barcelona for Radio 5.

Keating's family said they would like to thank the media for the privacy "afforded them during these difficult years".

Mike Edgar, the head of programme production for BBC Northern Ireland who had known Keating since school, described her death as a dreadful shock.

He said: "She was a wonderful, beautiful and very talented woman."

Mr Edgar told how she secured her big break in local television while still in the drama society at Methodist College, Belfast, helping to present Northern Ireland's fledgling youth programme Channel One.

With her mother firmly established as a TV star, Mr Edgar added: "They are Northern Ireland's showbiz family, showbiz royalty. She was a consummate pro back then and a chip off the old block."

Mr Edgar said he had known nothing of her illness, adding: "She had kept this to herself for a long long time.

"The fact she stepped off the media circus and put the family first is tremendous and a wonderful reflection of the person she was."