Former BBC Watchdog presenter and cancer campaigner Lynn Faulds Wood has died at the age of 72.
Her death was confirmed by her family in a statement which said she had suffered a “massive stroke last night and a subsequent bleed on the brain”.
She died at noon on Friday with her husband John Stapleton and her son Nick at her bedside, they added.
Faulds Wood was born in Glasgow and was most famous for turning consumer rights programme Watchdog into a peak time series on BBC.
She and her husband presented the show between 1985 and 1993.
She also had various other roles in exposing crooks and con artists, including as a consumer champion on GMTV between 2003 and 2009, and presenting the BBC’s Old Dogs, New Tricks with Esther Rantzen and Rob Unsworth in 2006.
Dame Esther said her former colleague was “such an impressive and courageous consumer journalist”.
“She fought for the rights of vulnerable people doggedly and determinedly and she is a huge loss to journalism and to her friends and family,” she said. “We are all devastated at this news.”
BBC news presenter Sophie Raworth described Faulds Wood as “the most wonderful, generous, kind friend”, while media commentator Roy Greenslade described her as “one of the nicest people I ever worked with” and a “brilliant consumer writer”.
Faulds Wood was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer at the age of 41 and became a dedicated campaigner for awareness of the disease.
She made a number of TV programmes about cancer, including ITV World In Action – Doctor Knows Best on GP training in cancer diagnosis and Bobby Moore & Me – an investigation into bowel cancer.
She was involved in producing the world’s first evidence-based symptoms guidance for bowel cancer and helped set up training centres for doctors and nurses in endoscopy, according to the website for her charity Lynn’s Bowel Cancer Campaign.
In 2016, Faulds Woods rejected an MBE for her work, saying that the honours system was “unfair” and objecting to the use of the word “empire”.
At the time she said: “I would love to have an honour if it didn’t have the word ’empire’ on the end of it. We don’t have an empire, in my opinion.”
She added: “We shouldn’t have lords and ladies and sirs. We should give people honours, yes, because plenty of people deserve them, including, I hope, myself.
“But it’s not a fair system.”