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Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Thursday, 1 July 2010 15:46 UK
Alison Booker (1963 - 2010)
Alison Booker

Former BBC Oxford presenter Alison Booker has passed away.

Alison lost her battle with breast cancer in the early hours of Thursday July 1 at the Sobell House hospice in Oxford. She was 47.

Alison had recently won Programme of the Year at the Sony Awards for her Cancer Diaries, broadcast on Jack FM.

She was a presenter on BBC Oxford from 1999 to 2006 but was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.

Despite this she continued to work and delight her loyal listeners.

Steve Taschini, Executive Editor at BBC Oxford said: "Ali will be remembered for her dedication to serving the needs of the BBC Oxford audience.

"She did that with style, and with a peerless knowledge of Oxfordshire and the people who live here. Her charm and her sense of humour will live long in our memories."

Alison leaves behind her husband Andrew, and children Joanne and Douglas.


Alison Booker

Ali was at BBC Oxford when I first joined and was pretty much the first newsreader I knew. I was in awe of how professional she was and how calm she always remained in an otherwise bustling newsroom. Ali's rather irreverent and self-deprecating sense of humour would often have the newsroom in fits of giggles for hours - she was always cracking a joke - most of them I wouldn't dare repeat!

When Ali got her first big break as a presenter, we were all thrilled for her. She spent so many sleepless nights worrying about whether listeners would like and accept her outside of her newsreading. She had nothing to fear - she had a natural warmth, wit and charm which everyone instantly fell in love with.

When I moved on in my career and became Ali's boss, she remained incredibly supportive and always had a real sense of pride in her work. She was always doubting her own ability and I only hope the broadcasting awards she went on to achieve convinced her of just how amazingly talented she was. The joy Ali brought to thousands of people through her broadcasting will never be forgotten.

My thoughts are with her husband, Andrew, who I've known since he and Ali got together. Andrew has remained an absolute rock through her illness and I know life will never be the same again for him. Also, Ali's fabulous children Jo and Doug who are a complete credit to her. Louisa Hannan

Ali always had a smile for everyone. She popped in from time to time after she left - and always lifted the mood in the building. Ali was very funny - and what a great voice on the radio. If I had to describe her in three words, I'd say: brave, brilliant and kind. Geraldine Peers

When the Queen Mother died Alison and I presented the show that evening. To actually present a programme with somebody, it's like climbing a mountain, being tied to somebody by a rope, and you get to know them very, very well quite quickly. I thought she was the most spectacular person.

Alison was very witty and extremely intelligent and had all this wrapped up in warmth and concern and kindness. It's not unexpected but devastating to hear that she has died. Bill Heine


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