BBC weather presenter Dianne Oxberry was “an oasis of loveliness in all our lives”, broadcaster Tony Livesey has told her memorial service.
Hundreds of colleagues, friends and members of the public gathered on Thursday at Manchester Cathedral to remember the 51-year-old mother-of-two, who died last month.
BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Livesey recalled working with Oxberry on North-West Tonight, where she had been a much-loved presenter since 1994.
He said she was “north-west royalty” but said she “wore that celebrity very lightly”.
Livesey said: “She was fabulously normal. She’d be flabbergasted by all this.
“I’d go as far as to say that if Dianne was here today, she wouldn’t be here.
“She’d be honoured that we’d all taken the time to think about her but she’d rather be out with the family having fun.”
He told the packed cathedral: “For me, it feels like the weather stopped once we lost Dianne.”
Many of those who spoke recalled the much-replayed moment when comedian Peter Kay interrupted her weather forecast live on air.
Livesey said: “As Peter Kay said, she brought sunshine into all our lives.”
He said: “She was, without doubt, an oasis of loveliness in all our lives in front of that map.”
North-West Tonight presenter Roger Johnson said: “She was a wonderful colleague. To others she was a much-loved friend. To Ian, Dianne’s husband, her children and her family, Dianne was everything.”
But Johnson said Oxberry was “our Dianne” to thousands of people across the north-west of England.
The 90-minute long service was punctuated with clips of Oxberry’s varied career and tributes from broadcasters she had worked with, along with members of the public.
Her friend, the broadcaster Jackie Brambles, struggled to hold back her tears as she read from the Bible during the service.
But she finished by telling the congregation that Oxberry would have been shouting in her earpiece: “Get a grip”.
Oxberry died on January 10, just weeks after she was last on-air.
Her husband, Ian Hindle, revealed she died after a “very short battle” with ovarian cancer. She worked alongside Simon Mayo and Steve Wright on Radio 1 before moving to North West Tonight where she stayed for more than 20 years.
Mr Hindle set up a crowd-funding page after Oxberry’s death to kick-start a charity in her name.
In an interview due to be broadcast on BBC Manchester on Thursday, he said that, despite his initial aim to be to raise £1,000, the fund was now at more than £40,000.
The money raised will be used to help families and individuals who have, or are suffering from Ovarian Cancer.
Mr Hindle said: “Dianne was an absolutely amazing wife and an amazing mother and this is a tribute to Dianne.
“I can’t thank [people] enough for what they’ve done. Your generosity and love for Dianne has meant we now have money for the future for people who are suffering or will suffer from ovarian cancer.
“People have been so fantastic in giving and it really has helped me in these really dark times.”
He said: “It is hard for me to put into words how amazing and extraordinary she was. She had a massive effect on people’s lives and I can’t thank people enough for what they’ve done.”