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Anne Diamond thrilled generations of UK viewers with a consistent string of sensational appearances working on huge shows like Loose Women and hosting Good Morning.
However, the TV star’s rise to fame also marked a devastating time of her life as she seemingly suffered one tragedy after another in the public eye.
The 68-year-old first landed on national television in 1981 as a newsreader on ATV today, quickly working her way into main presenting roles on Good Morning Britain and a titular role in Good Morning with Anne and Nick, alongside Nick Owen, all before the end of the decade.
Now, fans have been shocked to hear of her recent breast cancer diagnosis, with Anne revealing she had to undergo a double mastectomy.
Expess.co.uk looks back on the beloved presenter’s past, as she bravely faces one of her toughest battles yet.
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Entering the peak of her fame in 1991, Anne’s personal life was seemingly also thriving as she and her then-husband Mike Hollingsworth celebrated the birth of their third child, Sebastian.
However, it all took a sharp turn for the news presenter when four-month-old Sebastian suddenly died from infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
The pair were under the watchful eye of the public as they moved through their grief, and Anne endeavoured to use her platform and voice for good.
In her mission to find more comprehensive answers on what happened to her son, Anne discovered studies that had found babies sleeping on their backs were less likely to succumb to cot death, although this wasn’t the advice offered by the government at the time.
To change this, the TV star created the Back To Sleep campaign, joined The Lullaby Trust and enlisted the National Childbirth Trust in her mission to drive awareness and advice to hopefully reduce the number of SIDS cases.
The campaign ran throughout the winter of 1991 and The Mirror reported that the rate of SIDS cases dropped dramatically from 2,500 per year to just 300.
The Chief executive of the Lullaby Trust at the time, Francine Bates, told BBC: “Without Anne Diamond that wouldn’t have happened as quickly as it did.
“Because she was a celebrity, a public figure, people were shocked and hurt for Anne, she was a successful journalist, she was able to mobilise the media and politicians very successfully.”
In honour of her extraordinary efforts, Anne became the first non-medic to be awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Anne and Mike continued to nurture their growing family, as they welcomed four sons together, Oliver, Conor, James and Jake.
The news presenter and TV executive became one of the first power couples in morning news, but it wasn’t a romantic start for Anne.
When she fell pregnant with Oliver, now steadily rising to fame, she began to feel pressured into getting married.
During one of her many appearances on Loose Women, Anne confessed in 2016: “I was pressured into it. I can’t think of a reason for wanting to get married again.”
She explained: “There was a lot of pressure for me because I was Britain’s most famous unmarried mother back in 1987.
“That was the headline, it was scandalous then.”
The marriage only lasted for a decade, when it was discovered that Mike had had an affair with a radio presenter.
To this day, Anne has not remarried following her divorce from Mike in 1999.
Weight troubles and reality TV
At the start of the new millennium, Anne began to delve into reality TV appearances, shocking fans in 2006 when she joined Celebrity Fit Club – though she quit shortly after it was revealed that she’d had a gastric band placed.
The band was reportedly placed incorrectly though, which is what led to Anne joining the show as she felt it was almost her last resort.
Anne later went on to have a successful second operation after the show.
The star has continued to be open about her difficulties with maintaining her weight, which was only compounded by the intense public scrutiny she received and continued to impact her confidence long after the headlines faded.
In 2017, Anne was one of the few panellists to not take part in Loose Women’s body confidence campaign Loose Women Body Stories.
She explained her heartbreaking reason for avoiding the campaign on the show, saying: “Now I totally get that but I think some of us have been bullied for so long about their body image that I can never get to the point of saying I’m OK to do it and have the picture.”
Earlier this week, the broadcaster revealed on GB News that her recent six-month break from television was to “fight against breast cancer”.
Anne told fans she was “still not at the end of the journey” but had gone “through enough to come back to work”.
In a devastating twist of fate, the 68-year-old revealed she had been given the diagnosis on the same day she found out she would be awarded an OBE for services to public health and charity for her work following Sebastian’s death.
The Loose Women star has undergone the “full works” of treatment including a mastectomy and radiotherapy.