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Tributes to Highgate BBC journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts following death from cancer

PUBLISHED: 17:25 15 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:47 21 October 2015

Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died aged 64 of cancer. Picture: BBC

Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died aged 64 of cancer. Picture: BBC

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Tributes have poured in to Highgate BBC journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts, who has died aged 64 of cancer.

Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died aged 64 of cancer. Picture: BBC Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died aged 64 of cancer. Picture: BBC

BBC director general Tony Hall led news anchors and TV journalists in commending the broadcaster’s human rights reporting and campaigning journalism.

She was diagnosed with leukaemia more than two years ago and had a stem cell transplant aged 62 after being told it was her best chance of survival.

During her distinguished career, she received international plaudits for raising awareness of female genital mutilation and honour killings, and for her reports from Syria, Burma and North Korea.

Ms Lloyd-Roberts divided her time between Spain, where she ran a rural hotel with her BBC producer husband Nick Guthrie, and Woodland Gardens in Highgate, where they lived for more than 30 years.

Her friend and fellow journalist Patricia Walby, of Bisham Gardens, Highgate, remembered her as a “remarkable and very special woman”.

She said: “Her drive was legendary, whether it was cooking lunch for 35 people, or coaxing friends and family up Kilimanjaro or the Machu Picchu trail, or even over the Himalayas into Tibet.”

Ms Walby added: “There are so many thousands of victims whose plight Sue has helped bring to the attention of the world.

“She will be deeply missed by her devoted children George and Sarah, and Nick her husband, and her many many friends.

“But the campaigns she fought for continue.”

Many journalists took to Twitter to express their condolences.

Channel Four news anchor Jon Snow, of Primrose Hill, wrote: “Indomitable Sue Lloyd Roberts: An absolute one-off: no one to match her courage and originality: Our friend and colleague, desperately missed.”

In a statement, Mr Hall said: “Sue Lloyd-Roberts was a pioneering video journalist.

“Her determination, bravery, and courage were extraordinary. She went to dangerous places to give a voice to people who otherwise would not be heard.”

Ms Lloyd-Roberts had been keeping a video diary of her struggle with cancer 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.”

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