Wednesday 21 February 2018

BBC journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts dies after cancer battle

BBC journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts
BBC journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts

BBC journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died after a battle with cancer.

The investigative journalist and television reporter underwent chemotherapy having been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Ms Lloyd-Roberts had a stem cell transplant in July aged 62 after being told it was her best chance of survival.

The BBC tonight confirmed her death, after her condition deteriorated.

She was married to BBC producer Nick Guthrie and the couple had been living in Spain, where they ran a rural hotel.

A correspondent for BBC News, she had run a public appeal to find a donor and had been keeping a video diary of her struggle for the BBC.

In her final blog entry, from August 21, she said she had pneumonia and was confined to bed.

She said: "I really have been quite wretched. The pneumonia lingers on. The nausea and vomiting has left me so weak that I can scarcely pick up a book, let alone write.

"And the weakness means I can't walk or exercise with the result that after three weeks confined to bed, I'm now suffering from excruciating back pain.

"On the brighter side I am enjoying being totally infantised.

"A few nights ago I had this surreal experience of complete role reversal between me and my son. As George was trying to put a forkful of food in my mouth, he circled the fork like a plane and said 'come on, open up, we're coming in to land' which is exactly what I would do to him 33 years ago.

"So, I'm being fed and read to and nurtured and given loads of love from my family. All of which is keeping me going."

Ms Lloyd-Roberts, who had also worked for ITN, reported on events in Syria, Burma and North Korea and campaigned for human rights.

Tributes were tonight paid to Ms Lloyd-Roberts, described by peers, friends and colleagues in journalism as "matchless" and a "trailblazer".

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said: "Very sorry to hear that Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died. She was a brilliant and indefatigable journalist."

Sky News presenter Kay Burley said paid tribute to "a magnificent woman and journalist", while Jane Garvey said she was a "wonderful woman, brilliant journalist".

BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet added: "Terribly sad news that Sue Lloyd-Roberts has passed away - bravest of journalists, kindest of colleagues, wonderful person.

"Sue Lloyd-Roberts was a trail blazer - taking risks, showing courage, telling the stories few others could get #RIP"

BBC Newsnight editor Ian Katz said: "So sad to hear that the fearless, matchless Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died."

She was described by BBC news anchor Jane Hill as "a role model for female journalists", while colleague Huw Edwards said she was "one of the most distinguished television journalists of her generation".

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart said: "Sue Lloyd-Roberts was brave, and a trailblazer for equality. Thank you."

Michael Crick, political correspondent at Channel Four, said Ms Lloyd-Roberts "exposed human rights abuses in so many countries, it always surprised me the world's tyrants didn't gang up to stop her".

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