Dear Denise … the agony aunt who guided a nation for 28 years

Denise Robertson, This Morning‘s beloved agony aunt, died on Friday morning aged 83, following a “short but determined battle against cancer.”

Born in Sunderland, Denise joined This Morning for its first broadcast in 1988 and remained on the show for 28 years.

Known for her gentle voice and soothing manner, Robertson helped thousands of viewers, both on and off-air.

Denise offers advice to a woman locked up by her abusive husband:

Robertson’s popularity on This Morning led to her own TV show, Dear Denise, in 2000. She was also a regular fixture on Channel 5’s Big Brother’s Bit On The Side.

As well as being a regular fixture on our screens, the relationship expert also had her own advice website wrote a column for Candis magazine.

Robertson endured tragedies throughout her life. She lost her first husband Alex to lung cancer in 1972. A year later she married Jack Tomlin, but was widowed in 1995 when he died of a stroke.

She found happiness again in 1997, when she married her childhood friend Bryan Thubron.

Then in 2006 her stepson John died of cancer, at the age of 44.

She described the period following his diagnosis as “the most painful of my life.”

Robertson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February and was forced to leave the show to have chemotherapy, which she described as “tough.”

Today her family paid tribute to an “extraordinary woman” and thanked the “thousands of fans” who showed her support after she announced she had to leave the show.

Denise helps a woman in her sixties who couldn’t come out as gay:

Her co-presenter Phillip Schofield led tributes to her, saying he was “heartbroken”, while fellow host Holly Willoughby said Robertson was “quite simply one of life’s good ones”.

Married TV duo Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, who worked with Robertson from 1988 to 2001, shared their memories.

Madeley said “she actually made a difference,” while Finnigan described her as 100% genuine and said she was the best agony aunt of her generation.

Presenter Eamonn Holmes broke his sick leave to join his wife, Ruth Langsford, on the sofa to host a tribute show to Robertson.

A highlights reel of Robertson’s achievements included trips she made to Uganda to meet the orphans of AIDs victims and monitor their progress.

Denise’s legacy in Uganda:

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