Tributes paid to BBC Breakfast editor Alison Ford

Alison Ford

Colleagues have paid tribute to Alison Ford, editor of BBC Breakfast, after she passed away on Tuesday night.

She had been receiving treatment for cancer but Mary Hockaday, head of the newsroom, said her death was a "terrible shock".

Hockaday described Ford as "wonderful and passionate", adding: "She inspired her team and all her colleagues with her editorial spirit and flair, and complete commitment to Breakfast's audience.

"She also inspired us with the valiant way she tackled her illness. We will miss her hugely."

Ford led the migration of BBC Breakfast from London to Salford last year, and BBC North director Peter Salmon said she leaves "an outstanding legacy".

"I can't tell you how impressive it has been working alongside her and [the Breakfast team] over the past couple of years.

"Alison was an absolute gem and will be remembered as the warm, funny, considerate, professional leader who ran one of the BBC's most successful and much-loved programmes. A terrific, popular journalist."

'Consummate professional'

Ford joined the BBC as a trainee reporter in 1991 after studying English Literature at Liverpool University.

She then moved to Carlton TV, where she was producer at Central News. After rejoining the BBC as editor of Midlands Today, she was eventually promoted to head of BBC East Midlands.

She later became head of journalism for Nations and Regions and was also appointed as UK news editor at BBC Newsgathering.

In 2008, she joined BBC Breakfast as editor.

BBC director general Tony Hall said: "Alison was a wonderful colleague and friend to teams across the BBC - we'll feel her loss deeply."

He added: "Our thoughts are with her partner, Martin, and their two children at such a difficult time."

Colleagues have also paid tribute on Twitter, including BBC News obituary editor Nick Serpell, who commented: "Alison Ford will be sadly missed. A consummate professional who really cared."

BBC TV news editor Rachel Kennedy tweeted: "Real sadness in newsroom today at news of the death of Alison Ford [...] wonderful colleague, boss, friend & a great laugh.

A minute's silence was held at 1.30pm on Wednesday at the BBC office in Salford and on the first floor of New Broadcasting House in London.

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