Robert Peston’s wife, Muswell Hill novelist Sian Busby, dies after a ‘long illness’

Muswell Hill novelist Sian Busby, wife of BBC business editor Robert Peston, has died at the age of 51 following a long battle with cancer.

The author’s first novel was the historical thriller McNaughten, set during the early Victorian era, which was followed by The Cruel Mother, a novel about post-natal depression and infanticide.

A note on her husband’s popular BBC blog read: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that Robert Peston’s beloved wife Sian Busby has passed away after a long illness.

“Our thoughts are with him and his family at this tragic time.

“Robert will take a short leave of absence from the BBC to return at a later date. We ask that you respect his and his family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

Ms Busby was a schoolfriend of Mr Peston’s sister Juliet and the pair began dating when they were studying at different universities, although it was short-lived and ended when he took a posting in Brussels.

She told an interviewer in 2009 how they were brought back together when Mr Peston’s sister was seriously injured in a road accident and suffered memory loss.

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Ms Busby said: “I started going to see her with photographs to talk about our school days and help her piece her memory back together.

“Robert was often there at the same time, but I was feeling so low that I didn’t think he - so handsome, so successful - could possibly be interested in me.”

Ms Busby had a son, Simon, from her first marriage. The couple have a teenage son, Max.