Kathy Secker death 'a huge shock'
Tributes have been paid to broadcaster and journalist Kathy Secker after her sudden death.
Ms Secker was a household name in the North East, having been a Tyne Tees TV presenter for many years and hosting a dedication show on BBC Newcastle.
She was also involved in the founding of the Grace House children's hospice in Sunderland.
Her family said in a statement: "We are all so shocked and sad and ask that we be left to grieve at this time."
Ms Secker joined Tyne Tees in 1976, and became presenter and news reader, then joined the BBC in 1994.
Her pre-broadcasting career included stints as a secretary to an ear, nose and throat specialist, a bank clerk, a fashion model and an actress.
BBC Newcastle editor Doug Morris said "Kathy's passing comes as a huge shock to all of us at the radio station.
"She was a genuine friend to so many of us here and working with her was always such a pleasure.
"She was more than a professional broadcaster; she truly understood the connection between local radio and the audience, and the companionship it provides."
Her family said: "We know Kathy was held the hearts of many in the North East from her years presenting with Tyne Tees and BBC radio.
"To her family though she was just a much loved mum, sister, step-mum and Glamma."