Tributes paid to BBC Breakfast editor Alison Ford

Colleagues have been paying tribute to BBC Breakfast editor Alison Ford, who died last night.

The BBC’s head of newsroom Mary Hockaday said that Ford’s death was a “terrible shock” and described her as “wonderful and passionate”.

Ford, who led the Breakfast team’s migration from London to Salford last year, was suffering from cancer.

Hockaday added: “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."

BBC North director Peter Salmon added: “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.”

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

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

Ford joined the BBC as a trainee in 1991 before moving on to Carlton TV, where she was a producer on Central News. She rejoined the BBC to edit Midlands Today and was later promoted to head of BBC East Midlands.

She joined BBC Breakfast as editor in 2008.

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.”

The BBC held a minute’s silence in Salford and at New Broadcasting House today.

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