Former ITV news presenter Carol Barnes has died aged 63 after suffering a stroke.
The journalist, who featured on all of ITV’s main news bulletins, was admitted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton earlier this month.
Barnes went on to present all of ITV’s main news programmes, including News at Ten, and worked on the now-defunct ITV News Channel when it opened in 2000.
Her former boss at ITN, Stewart Purvis, said it was a “very, very sad day”.
Barnes’ son James paid tribute to his mother and described her as “a beautiful, kind and delicate person”.
She couldn’t have been kinder, more helpful and caring to someone like me
Dermot Murnaghan, Sky News presenter
Former ITN chief executive Mr Purvis said: “Even though Carol’s death seemed inevitable it’s still a very, very sad day, at such a comparatively young age for somebody who was still absolutely full of life and vigour and excitement.
“All her friends are mourning her – ‘Barnesy’ as she used to be known – at ITN, so many happy memories both professionally and also socially in the extraordinary world that television news was in those days.”
Sky News presenter and former colleague Dermot Murnaghan said Barnes looked after him when he joined ITN in the late 1980s.
He told Sky News: “I was in awe of the mighty Carol Barnes and she was just so down to earth, so helpful but, above all, so professional,” he said.
“She couldn’t have been kinder, more helpful and caring to someone like me.”
Barnes was last seen on TV in January presenting ITV documentary Saving Ed Mitchell about her former colleague’s struggle with alcoholism.
Barnes started her career as a teacher before moving into public relations and journalism, joining ITN as a reporter in the mid-1970s.
In 1973 she was part of the launch for London radio station LBC and she later joined ITN as a reporter.
Barnes and former government minister Denis MacShane had a daughter called Clare, who died at 24 as the result of a skydiving accident in Australia in 2004.
Later that year, Barnes was stopped by police near Brighton on suspicion of speeding and was found to be over the legal alcohol limit.
She was eventually found guilty of drink-driving and subsequently lost her role as a magistrate.
After separating from Mr McShane, whom she never married, she went on to marry ITN cameraman Nigel Thomson. The couple have two children.
Saturday, 8 March 2008, 16:33 GMT