Who was Janice Long and what illness did she suffer from?
BBC Radio presenter and former Top of the Pops host Janice Long has died aged 66 after a brief battle with the disease.
Her agent Nigel Forsyth confirmed the sad news in a statement, adding that she suffered from a “short illness” before passing away surrounded by her family.
Who was Janice Long?
Janice was an English radio presenter best known for her appearances on BBC Radio, including their channels Radio 1 and Radio 2.
The star, who grew up in Liverpool, first trained as a flight attendant at Laker Airways before turning to telesales and insurance.
She became a station assistant at BBC Radio Merseyside in 1979, where her obvious talent as a host was spotted – and she eventually got her own show.
Janice hosted Streetlife on Sunday Morning – where she interviewed Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Paul Gambaccini on a local show.
She was then recommended to BBC Radio 1 by broadcaster Paul before making her debut with a Saturday night show in 1982.
The Top of the Pops show then welcomed her as its first female presenter in 1983, where she co-hosted the show alongside John Peel.
Janice returned to co-host the final show in July 2006 after decades of working with Crash FM, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music.
She also featured four evenings a week on BBC Radio Wales until her death, as well as the Saturday afternoon slot on Greatest Hits Radio.
Outside of radio, Janice has also appeared on The X Factor, Countdown, and The Weakest Link – and lent her voice to BBC Three’s Desperate Midwives.
What was the cause of Janice Long’s death?
The exact cause of Janice’s death is currently unknown, but her relatives have confirmed that her death followed a “short illness”.
She was hospitalized for the brief battle, which she revealed to her social media followers, writing: “Hello world from my hospital bed in Liverpool.”
It was later revealed that she passed away on Christmas Day.
Her agent Nigel said of her death in a statement: “Janice was a wonderful, warm human being and an exceptional facilitator.
“She told a brilliant story and always made you laugh out loud with her sharp wit. She will leave behind her husband Paul and two children.
“Janice loved the BBC and started her career as a station assistant at BBC Radio Merseyside in 1979, complementing it with the wonderful people of BBC Radio Wales.
“Janice wanted it to be known that she was so grateful to the NHS and everyone who looked after her there.”
Was Janice Long related to Keith Chegwin?
Janice was the sister of television presenter and actor Keith Chegwin, who tragically died in December 2017.
The star had suffered from lung disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis before his untimely death at the age of 60.
Keith, who made a name for himself hosting popular children’s shows Cheggers Plays Pop and Saturday Superstore, has died at home surrounded by family.
The family wrote at the time: “We are heartbroken to share the news that Keith Chegwin sadly passed away as a result of a long-term battle with a progressive lung disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which ensued. quickly worsened towards the end of this year. “
The TV presenter had spent his final weeks at the Severn Hospice in Shrewsbury – which his family thanked for their “kindness, support and care”.
Has Janice Long had any children?
Janice was a mother of two, sharing children Fred and Blue with husband Paul Berry, whom she married in an intimate ceremony in 2017.
The couple formed a relationship in 1987, years after their divorce from first husband Trevor Long, whom she married in 1977.
Fred and Blue have been out of the spotlight their entire lives – and are currently believed to be in their early 30s.