By a tragic coincidence Mr Hanna's father-in-law Lord Fitt, former leader of the SDLP, suffered chest pains while visiting Mr Hanna in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital and was admitted to the same unit with a suspected heart attack. Lord Fitt was yesterday described as "comfortable".
Mr Hanna, 57, (pictured) was in Belfast to present Radio Ulster's Talkback programme for the summer.
In an interview with the Irish News last Saturday, Mr Hanna denied that he was a workaholic, but friends said he had pursued a punishing work schedule in the run-up to the general election.
As well as being the BBC's best known television by-election presenter, Mr Hanna co-presented Channel 4's A Week in Politics. He also travelled to Manchester each week to present Radio 4's Mediumwave while also presenting Radio Five Live's After Hours discussion programme that runs from midnight to 2am.
On top of his freelance contracts with the BBC and Channel 4, Mr Hanna wrote a sports column for the Guardian and worked as a consultant to Leeds and Birmingham local councils.
He told the Irish News: "A workaholic is someone who's compelled to work ... I love what I do and if I cease to like it then I'd stop it. I don't have to work."
He is survived by his wife Joan and two daughters, Emily-Elizabeth, 21, and Sinead Eileen, 16.
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