Monday 14 October 2019

TV presenter Magenta Devine dies aged 61

Her death came after a short illness, her family said.

TV presenter Magenta Devine dies aged 61 (Yui Mok/PA)
TV presenter Magenta Devine dies aged 61 (Yui Mok/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

TV presenter Magenta Devine has died at the age of 61.

According to her family, the broadcaster – who was known for her trademark black sunglasses, stylish attire and husky voice – died on Wednesday morning at a hospital in London while undergoing treatment following a short illness.

Her family said she was “deeply loved for her extraordinary kindness and generosity”.

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Magenta Devine (handout)

Born Kim Taylor in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire in 1957, Devine became a star in the 1980s on Channel 4’s short-lived but memorable cult youth show Network 7.

She then went on to host the BBC’s innovative factual show Reportage and the Rough Guides travel series.

Rough Guides was originally broadcast as part of Janet Street-Porter’s DEF II slot on BBC Two.

Her other TV credits included presenting ITV documentary series Young, Gifted and Broke, and the On Screen cinema review programme on the BBC’s World Service Radio network.

She also found work as a voiceover artist, appearing in a number of TV adverts and on a number of radio programmes, including the BBC’s Cult Heroes: Marc Bolan programme.

During her career, Devine also wrote articles and opinion pieces on travel, media and popular culture for a number of newspapers.

Street-Porter paid tribute to her on Twitter, describing Devine as “a brilliant presenter, a one-off who always made everything we did together utterly memorable xxx”.

Journalist Sankha Guha, who worked alongside her on programmes including BBC’s Rough Guide series, said she was an “icon for a generation”.

Writing on Facebook, he said she was “instantly recognised wherever she went. A star who invited attention and sometimes hostility for her bold look and style.

“She knew what she was doing. She used her public persona to tell stories about the world that mattered to her – and inspired a whole generation to travel with a sense of adventure and an open mind”.

He ended writing that he had known she was ill but said “her death is a bodyblow. I have lost a soul mate and a partner in adventure”.

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