Wednesday 21 August 2019

Biddy White Lennon - 'She was amazing inspiration': Tributes paid to star of 'Riordans' and 'Bake-Off'

Biddy White Lennon
Biddy White Lennon

Mary McDonnell and Wayne O'Connor

Actress and food writer Biddy White Lennon has been described "an amazing inspiration" after her death at the weekend.

The much-loved Dubliner was best known for her starring role as Maggie Riordan in the ground-breaking RTÉ TV drama 'The Riordans' more than 30 years ago. More recently, she hosted the 'Great Irish Bake-Off' on TV3.

Ms Lennon was highly regarded in the culinary world and was chairwoman of the Irish Food Writers' Guild.

News broke of her death after a battle with illness on Saturday morning and tributes have continued to pour in since.

RTÉ and Newstalk broadcaster Norah Casey led the tributes online, posting: "I'm devastated to hear that the beautiful and passionate Biddy White Lennon has left us.

"She was an amazing inspiration."

Biddy White Lennon with Tom Hickey as Maggie and Benji in ‘The Riordans’
Biddy White Lennon with Tom Hickey as Maggie and Benji in ‘The Riordans’

Chef Neven Maguire paid his respects to Ms Lennon on Twitter, describing her as a "true lady" and an "ambassador" for food producers.

"So sad to hear of the passing of Biddy White Lennon. Always gave me so much good advice," he wrote.

RTÉ also released a statement in the wake of her death, in which the broadcaster extended condolences to her family and friends.

"RTÉ is saddened to hear about the death of our former colleague Biddy White Lennon.

Biddy White Lennon in her role as host of ‘Great Irish Bake Off’. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Biddy White Lennon in her role as host of ‘Great Irish Bake Off’. Photo: Brian McEvoy

"Biddy, who worked on both television and radio in RTÉ, will always be fondly remembered for her role as Maggie in 'The Riordans'.

"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time. May she rest in peace."

'Food & Wine Magazine' sent its condolences to her family and friends via Twitter, while fans of 'The Riordans' shared their "fond memories of long ago".

Hollywood star Gabriel Byrne also credited Biddy White Lennon with nurturing his talents and helping him learn how to perform on camera when he took a role in the seminal Irish soap.

The pair worked together on 'The Riordans' during his early forays in the industry, with Byrne playing a man with whom Maggie Riordan had an affair.

The drama was a household staple in living rooms across the country between 1965 and 1979.

Irish Independent

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