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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Blue Peter's Caron Keating dies
Caron Keating
Keating was the daughter of TV presenter Gloria Hunniford
Former TV presenter Caron Keating has died after losing a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

The 41-year-old former Blue Peter presenter died on Tuesday night, according to a family friend.

Keating, the daughter of television presenter Gloria Hunniford, presented Blue Peter during the late 1980s.

She took time out from television to look after her two sons, but made a return to TV in 1996 with stints presenting ITV1's This Morning.

Her family said she died at 1815 BST on Tuesday at Hunniford's home in Sevenoaks, Kent, surrounded by the family.

Her husband had driven through the night from a clinic in Zurich to ensure she died at her mother's house with her relatives present.

Born in Northern Ireland, she was the mother of two boys, Charlie, aged nine, and seven-year-old Gabriel, and was wife to Russ Lindsay.

'Beautiful and fun-loving'

In a statement her family said she had been a "total inspiration" and that her death had left "an unfilled void".

Caron Keating (centre) on Blue Peter

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

"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."

They said she had fought cancer "with enormous courage, tenacity and optimism".

"Caron had a great sense of family and relished being a mother and wife," the statement said.

"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."

Details of Keating's death were confirmed by family friend Peter Powell, a former BBC Radio 1 DJ and now a showbusiness agent.

Tribute was paid to her at the end of Wednesday's edition of Blue Peter with a package of clips showing some of her more daring adventures.

They included her diving with sharks, swimming in freezing waters, and strapped to the top of a light aircraft. Her famous sense of fashion was also spotlighted.

Keating had joined Blue Peter in November 1986 and co-presented with Peter Duncan, Janet Ellis, Mark Curry, Yvette Fielding and John Leslie.

'Immensely popular'

The show's editor, Richard Marson, said she was "an incredible person and a brilliant presenter".

"Caron was an immensely popular and successful member of the Blue Peter team," he said.

Keating had spent the last two years in the sunshine of Byron Bay, Australia, although her family home remained in Fowey, Cornwall.

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I feel like I've just lost part of my childhood
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Radio 2 DJ and TV presenter Terry Wogan, a friend of the family, said the news had come as "a terrible shock".

"It's awful to think that someone so beautiful has passed on," he told BBC News 24.

"She had all of Gloria Hunniford's qualities of charm and beauty and vivacity, and it's very hard to think that someone with all those qualities and still so young has passed on."

Former children's presenter Andi Peters, who is now in charge of the BBC's Top of the Pops music programme, said: "She was one of the warmest and most generous presenters in television."

Mike Edgar, the head of programme production for BBC Northern Ireland who had known Keating since school, described her as a "wonderful, beautiful and very talented woman".




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