BBC Breakfast editor Alison Ford dies of cancer

image captionAlison Ford joined the BBC in 1991

The editor of BBC Breakfast has died of cancer.

Alison Ford, who led the BBC One programme's move from London to Salford, joined the BBC as a trainee reporter in 1991.

BBC director general Tony Hall called her a "brilliant editor" and said she was a "wonderful colleague and friend to teams across the BBC".

Ms Ford held several senior roles in the BBC and Lord Hall said colleagues would "feel her loss deeply".

She died peacefully on Tuesday following a "long and courageous battle" with cancer, Lord Hall added.

He said his thoughts were with Ms Ford's partner, Martin, and her two children.

'True friend'

Former Breakfast presenter Sian Williams said: "Alison was funny, positive, vibrant and strong.

"She never once complained about her illness, preferring instead to sit outside and celebrate life, over a glass of wine.

"She was a brilliant, inspirational colleague and a true and loyal friend. The loss to her family and those who loved her is incalculable."

Fran Unsworth, the BBC's acting director of news, said the news had come as a "deep shock".

"Alison was tackling her illness with the energy and indomitable spirit she showed in everything she did. Her talent, editorial experience and sense of humour defined the way she worked at the BBC," she said.

Ms Ford held a number of senior roles in BBC News, including editor of Midlands Today, and she went on to become head of BBC East Midlands, where she was responsible for all radio, TV and online output for the region.

She later became UK news editor and, most recently, led BBC Breakfast's move out of London.