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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 February 2006, 17:01 GMT
Radio comedian Linda Smith dies
Linda Smith
Linda Smith is survived by her partner Warren Lakin
Comic Linda Smith, a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz, has died of cancer at the age of 48.

The writer and broadcaster was a staple of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and BBC Radio, whose listeners voted her "Wittiest Person" in 2002.

She made frequent appearances on Just A Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, as well as the TV shows Have I Got News For You, Room 101 and Mock the Week.

Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer said her passing was "a terrible loss".

"Linda was a Radio 4 giant," he added. "She generated an energy and warmth in every programme she ever did that made her fellow comedians and millions of listeners love her."

News Quiz regular Jeremy Hardy paid an emotional tribute, calling her "the wittiest and brightest person working on TV or radio panel games".

Linda Smith with Ian Hislop
Her many TV credits include Have I Got News For You
"It was impossible to be in her company for more than a few minutes without laughing," he continued.

"Even when she was very ill, she had her friends laughing and feeling uplifted despite our sadness.

"I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful friend."

Ms Smith, who is survived by her partner Warren Lakin, died on Monday.

Mr Hardy told Radio 4 she had been ill for some time from ovarian cancer.

A special tribute edition of the News Quiz will be broadcast on Friday at 1830 GMT, presented by her fellow panellist Andy Hamilton.

Jeremy Hardy's tribute to Linda Smith, who 'loved life'

Obituary: Linda Smith
28 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
'Her mind was extraordinary'
28 Feb 06 |  Entertainment



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