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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Tributes paid to NI presenter
Caron Keating was the daughter of TV presenter Gloria Hunniford
Tributes have been paid to the former TV presenter, Caron Keating, who has died.

The 41-year-old died on Tuesday night after a long battle with breast cancer, according to a family friend.

Caron, the daughter of television presenter Gloria Hunniford, began her career at BBC Northern Ireland in the early 1980s before going on to present Blue Peter.

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.

Mike Edgar, head of programme production at BBC Northern Ireland described her as "a wonderful, beautiful and very talented woman".

"It is a dreadful shock for everybody who knew Caron and it is going to be one that is hard to fathom for many people," he said.

It is hard to believe that someone with all these qualities, and still so young, has passed away
Terry Wogan
Broadcaster

"We went back to Methodist College together where we had been in the drama society together.

"We went through many school plays before Caron got her break into the media.

"She got her break in the lower fifth or the sixth form to present Greenrock which was the first attempt at a music show to come out of BBC Northern Ireland, where Caron was up there introducing people like Horslips.

"She was enormously talented, professional beautiful person who gave showbusiness everything.

"Many will remember the first time that she appeared on our screens on Blue Peter. That was such a big deal to hear a Northern Irish voice."

Broadcaster Eamonn Holmes, who first met Caron when he worked alongside her mother at Ulster Television, said she grew up around people in the television industry.

"Her mum always had her and the boys round in the production office," he said.

"I think it was pre-ordained that she would go into television."

Terry Wogan said the news of the popular star's death had come as a "terrible shock".

"She had Gloria's qualities of charm and vivacity," he told BBC News 24.

"It's hard to believe that someone with all these qualities, and still so young, has passed away."

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble said he was "very sorry" to hear of her death.

"The Keating and Hunniford families are well-known in my constituency, and my condolences go to the whole family circle," he said.

"Caron was an inspiration to many people in Northern Ireland and much further afield."

Caron 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.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's Maggie Swarbrick reports
"It was on Blue Peter that she got her big break, landing her dream job in 1986"



SEE ALSO:
Blue Peter's Caron Keating dies
14 Apr 04  |  Entertainment
Caron Keating: Your tributes
14 Apr 04  |  Have Your Say


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