Former ITV newsreader Carol Barnes has died in hospital after suffering a massive stroke last weekend. The 63-year-old was one of the best known faces on the channel’s ITN news bulletins, including News At Ten, in the 70s and 80s. She had been on a life support machine in Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital after collapsing at home last Sunday. Earlier in the week the Mirror reported that Barnes – who had not regained consciousness since being taken ill – was unlikely to recover. Her former boss at ITN, Stuart Purvis was among those who paid tribute. “Even though Carol’s death seemed inevitable it’s still a very, very sad day, at such a comparatively young age for somebody who was still absolutely full of life and vigour and excitement,” he said. Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan, who worked with Barnes when he joined ITN in the late 80s described her as “helpful and caring”. “I was in awe of the mighty Carol Barnes and she was just so down to earth, so helpful but, above all, so professional,” he told Sky News. Barnes began her career as a teacher before moving into journalism, working for London radio station LBC before joining ITN News in the mid-70s. She also worked on the now defunct ITV News Channel which launched in 2000, as well as a stint reading the news on the short-lived Channel Four breakfast show Channel Four Daily. During her career with the channel she covered some of the biggest stories of the past few decades including the wedding of the Prince Of Wales and Princess Diana in 1981, and Diana’s death in 1997. “This was the most memorable story I ever worked on,” she said. “We were on air for 16 hours.” In more recent years she suffered personal tragedy after her daughter Clare died in a skydiving accident in Australia in 2004. The following year, she lost her position as a magistrate after being found guilty of drink-driving. Barnes was last seen on TV in January of this year, presenting a programme about her former colleague Ed Mitchell’s battle with alcoholism.