Caron Louisa Keating (5 October 1962 – 13 April 2004) was a British television presenter on British and Northern Irish television.
Early life and educationEdit
Keating was born in Fulham, West London, to Northern Irish parents, but at three months her parents returned to Northern Ireland, where she was raised. Her parents were television presenter Gloria Hunniford and BBC producer Don Keating. Keating attended Methodist College Belfast, where she gained 8 'O' levels and 3 'A' levels. She was accepted to study at the University of Bristol where she graduated three years later aged 21 with a BA Honours Degree in English and Drama.
Keating's television career began in Northern Ireland where she presented The Video Picture Show, Channel One and the music programme Greenrock, but her big break undoubtedly came when she was selected to join the team of Blue Peter from 13 November 1986.
Keating brought a new trendy image to the programme, and was popular with viewers because of her looks, fashion-conscious image and Ulster accent. She appeared on the programme with Peter Duncan, Janet Ellis, Mark Curry, Yvette Fielding, and John Leslie. Highlights of her Blue Peter career included a trip to Moscow in 1987 during the perestroika period, swimming with sharks, abseiling down skyscrapers and standing strapped to the top of a light aircraft whilst it performed aerial acrobatics. She also interviewed serving Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the programme in 1988.
After four years, Keating left Blue Peter on 22 January 1990. Keating joined BBC Radio 5 where amongst other programmes she co-hosted an early 90’s afternoon show with film critic Mark Kermode, the show was named "A game of two halves” and in his autobiography Kermode described Keating as “The very dictionary definition of Lovely”. She presented several other TV programmes including This Morning, before breast cancer was diagnosed in 1997. Keating was the face of Sainsbury's Reward Card from 1996 to 1999 and also appeared in a TV commercial for So Good soya drink in 1999. 1999 also saw her present We Can Work It Out.
Keating was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. After various conventional and alternative treatments, including a period away from her family on the Gold Coast, Australia, and at a hospice in Switzerland, she died at the age of 41, on 13 April 2004, at her mother's house in Sevenoaks, Kent. Her body was buried at St Peter's Parish Church in Hever.
The Caron Keating FoundationEdit
Set up in Keating's memory, The Caron Keating Foundation is a fund-raising partnership set up to raise money to offer financial support to professional carers, complementary healing practitioners, and support groups dealing with cancer patients, as well as individuals and families who are affected by the disease. It will also financially help a number of cancer charities with their ongoing quest for prevention, early detection and hopefully an ultimate cure. It was set up by her mother, TV presenter Gloria Hunniford, and her two brothers Michael and Paul Keating.