Tricia Williamson

Weather girl turned film-maker

Patricia Noble Williamson, television presenter, producer and director: born Newcastle upon Tyne 3 January 1955; married first 1981 David Devaux (marriage dissolved 1986), secondly Cameron Maxwell Lewis (marriage dissolved), (two sons); died Weybread, Suffolk 9 November 2007.

Plucked from her job as a researcher at TV-am, ITV's first breakfast station, Tricia Williamson seized her chance to appear on screen when she took over as a weather presenter from Wincey Willis, who famously left after no longer being allowed to contribute items such as "Wincey's Pets" to Good Morning Britain.

The new face of the weather became familiar nationwide as "Trish" Williamson – the name suggested by the company's managing director, Bruce Gyngell – and helped to mould the fledgling fashion for "weather girls".

Just two years later, in 1989, she joined the original ITV National Weather team, which – although it is hard to believe today – for the first time presented nationwide forecasts after the channel's news programmes. At the same time, she was employed by ITN as a reporter. Later, she moved into documentary-making, following in the footsteps of her father, Harold Williamson, who was best known for his "Children Talking" feature in Braden's Week and That's Life!, and for his many Man Alive reports.

Although she made programmes for various ITV regional companies, Williamson found a more permanent home at BBC East, in Norwich, five years ago. She became a formidable presenter, producer and director of documentaries for the regional current-affairs series Inside Out.

Inspired by one of her father's television reports on the Appleby Horse Fair and trotting races in the back streets of Newcastle in the 1960s, she started with "Trotters", a short film about how travellers were continuing their tradition of racing harness horses on Britain's roads. She persuaded some in Hertfordshire to allow her to film this illegal activity and was given a glimpse into a secret world. "Suddenly, mayhem," she commented in her voiceover. "Without warning, a cavalry charge of cars and horses, and the race was on."

Williamson – a lifelong Christian – also made an Inside Out report titled "Salvation Army Girl", about a 16-year-old's dedication to her work with the Central Norwich Corps. It won the top honour at the 2004 Andrew Cross Awards, organised by the Churches' Media Council to recognise achievements in religious broadcasting.

Last year, she won the Ruby Award for an Inside Out film about the long-term effect of the prescription drug Ritalin on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Earlier this year, she took the Ruby Diversity Award for a report on the gipsy community that she made for the BBC's Look North programme, taking her back to the region in which she had grown up.

Born in 1955 in Newcastle upon Tyne, where her father worked as a reporter for the BBC, Patricia Williamson graduated in Middle Eastern Studies from Durham University. In 1984, while she was living in St Lucia with her first husband, the businessman David Devaux, Michael Parkinson – a friend of her father – arrived to work on a behind-the-scenes documentary about the film comedy Water, starring Michael Caine and Billy Connolly. He asked for her help with some research and the following year, after Williamson left her husband, helped to secure her a job as a researcher at TV-am, the ITV breakfast station launched two years earlier, for which Parkinson had been one of the original "famous five" presenters.

Switching to presenting the weather in 1987, she also filled in as host of TV-am's After Nine show. Then, following a short stint in 1988 as a weather presenter at TSW, the ITV company in the South West, Williamson joined the ITV National Weather team.

She began to branch out as a presenter by fronting regional programmes, including two for Anglia Television, Sailaway (1989-90) and the rural series Countrywide (1993-94). With Anne Gregg, she hosted the ITV travel series Getaways (screened in the Meridian and HTV regions, 1993-98) and, in 1994, returned as a weather forecaster for ITV in London, for which she also presented the magazine programme After 5 with Trish Williamson (1995) and the travelogue Breakaways. This led her to write and produce her own travel programmes and, by this time, she had chosen to replace "Trish" with "Tricia" as her professional name.

Then, Williamson produced the Trailblazers series (1998) for the Discovery Channel and Dream Ticket (1999) for the ITV company LWT, before working on Inside Out. She recently finished producing Born Survivors, a new BBC3 series about teenagers that is due to be screened next month.

Anthony Hayward

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor