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Television news presenter Carol Barnes has died

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:( I have very,very fond memories of her days ITN.


AS the family of television presenter Carol Barnes began to come to terms with her death yesterday, her son James paid a loving tribute and said his mother “will for ever be in my heart”.

Carol, 63, died in the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton yesterday – six days after suffering a massive stroke.

James said: “My mum was a beautiful, kind and delicate person, a person loved by many and whom I am desperately proud to call my mother.”

“She did everything in her power to love, care and provide for me, my sister and all those close to her.

“I am eternally indebted to her for what she has given us. I will always love her and she will for ever be in my heart.”

The former teacher became a household name during her career at ITN, which included a long stint hosting its flagship programme News at Ten and was named Newscaster of the Year in 1984.

Known for her “ice cool” delivery, the blonde presenter commanded a salary of £180,000 when she finally stepped down in 1998.

Her 30 years at the forefront of British news saw her interview Princess Diana, among many others. Ever the journalist, she last appeared on our screens in January, presenting the documentary Saving Ed Mitchell, about a former colleague who became an alcoholic.

After separating from Denis Macshane MP, whom she never married, she wed cameraman Nigel Thompson with whom she had James.

But the marriage ended after 17 years in 1998. Carol claimed her husband “changed” after assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan. She suffered her biggest tragedy in 2004 when her daughter Clare, whose father is Mr Macshane, died after her parachute failed to open during a 14,000ft jump in Australia.

Shortly after the death, she admitted: “I still feel I’m living in a nightmare. The realisation hasn’t really sunk in yet and I don’t know if it ever will. The days and weeks after the news were like a hazy dream.

“Nothing seemed real. I just can’t think of her as dead. After I put the receiver down it hit me. I ran around the house crying, screaming and banging walls.”

After suffering a loss that no mother should experience, Carol battled her way through the grief and was “enjoying life tremendously” according to Mr Macshane.

“Of course the death of our daughter was terrible but I resent implications that she never got over her grief,” said the Labour MP for Rotherham last night. “Actually, they’re quite offensive.

“We got through it, with a lot of support from some very good friends and Carol was really enjoying life. She was fitter than ever, doing lots of jogging. Her heart remained strong to the end.

“She was just about to go on a safari trip to Africa when suddenly she suffered a stroke. There was no warning, nothing. Her death robbed a massive network of friends of one of the best.

“Carol was just the funniest, warmest person you can imagine. She would enjoy drinking wine with friends and was just so full of life and energy. We separated but it was always very amicable. I was sent to Geneva and she was climbing the ladder at ITN. We remained friends and I saw her only a few weeks ago in the House of Commons.

“We talked and she was full of plans for the future and love for her son James. I will miss her terribly for her humour and wit.”

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