BBC Radio Ulster presenter Kim Lenaghan dies aged 61

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BBC Radio Ulster presenter Kim Lenaghan has died at the age of 61.

Staff at the BBC expressed their shock and sadness at her passing, and paid tribute to her positive nature and talent.

Ms Lenaghan presented the weekend programme The Foodie, where she travelled across Northern Ireland to discuss food and drink.

Interim director of BBC Northern Ireland Adam Smyth paid tribute to the presenter, who had worked at the public broadcaster for 25 years.

Mr Smyth said she had “a versatile and talented broadcaster who welcomed listeners into Saturdays and Sundays with her warm tones, sense of humour and impeccable music taste”.

“Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to her husband Andrew, her family and many friends,” he said.

BBC Newsline presenter Tara Mills said on Twitter that she was “shocked and very sad” at the news.

“It’s hard to believe we will never again hear her infectious laugh or see her beaming smile in Broadcasting House. Condolences to her family.”

News correspondent with the BBC Mark Simpson said her death was “devastating”.

“Kim was a ray of sunshine. On air, off air and in the corridors of the BBC. She brightened all our lives. We’re going to miss her.”

BBC NI health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly said that there was “such sadness” at the BBC at the news.

“Those who worked and knew her have lost a good friend. Such a kind, generous and gorgeous woman with an infectious laugh. Dearest Kim there are no words,” she said.