This Morning's agony aunt Denise Robertson has passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 83. Her death was announced on the ITV show's Twitter page on Friday morning with a heartfelt message that read: "Such sad news – our friend and colleague Denise Robertson has lost her short but determined battle against cancer."
Denise revealed she had been diagnosed with the disease last month, after concerned viewers noticed she had been absent from the show for some time. Her statement, which was read out by visibly-upset host Ruth Langsford, read: "I'm sorry I've not been around for a couple of weeks but a persistent health issue has turned into something quite a lot bigger. I've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Denise Robertson has lost her "short but determined" battle with pancreatic cancer
"It has come as a surprise to me and my family but we know that many others have suffered and dealt with this condition and I don't plan to give up without a fight.
"My doctor is referring me for chemotherapy and hopefully that will start soon.
"I'd like to thank all the lovely viewers of This Morning who have been concerned about my health recently and I hope I'll be back on the sofa soon."
Denise was last seen in public at the NTAs in January
Denise has appeared on This Morning ever since it first broadcast in October 1988. She was last seen in public at the National Television Awards in January, celebrating the show's success with her colleagues.
Phillip Schofield was among the first to pay tribute to Denise following the news of her death. "I'm heartbroken at the passing of our @itvthismorning icon Denise Robertson. Kind, thoughtful, caring and wonderful," he wrote.
His co-host Holly Willoughby shared a photo of herself with Denise on Instagram, and wrote alongside: "Yesterday we lost this gorgeous lady after her brave fight with cancer... We will miss her deeply... Denise you were quite simply one of life's good ones Xxx."
Phillip Schofield paid a heartfelt tribute to Denise
Denise is survived by her husband Bryan Thubron, and her only son Mark Alexander Robertson. She lost her first husband Alex Robertson to lung cancer in 1972 but kept his surname when she remarried. In 2006, her stepson John also died of cancer, at the age of 44.