Michelle Mullane has died after a year-long battle with bowel cancer (Picture: Instagram)

Former BBC Radio Manchester presenter and XFM host Michelle Mullane has died after a year-long battle with stage four bowel cancer.

Mullane, who also presented Key 103, died on Christmas Eve, comedian Jason Manford said on Twitter.

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In a tribute to his close friend, he wrote: ‘I have so many fond memories of Michelle from when I was starting out in stand up in the late 90s. Michelle was the first person to get me on the airwaves and we spent many an evening laughing, flirting & joking over brews; on air and off.

‘We drank millions of cups of tea and her show “Michelle round Midnight” was one of the only shows you could get on, get paid and just be yourself without having to be a big “tv name”.

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‘She was an incredible supporter of new talent and gave a leg up to so many of us northern comedians at a time where it felt like if you weren’t in London, you didn’t stand a chance. She has supported me and many others ever since.

‘She will be dearly missed by so many people, not least her young daughter Liv.’

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He recalled a recent conversation he had with her after he hosted the Royal Variety Performance ‘to say how proud she was of me’.

Manford continued: ‘Even in her state, she still thought of others.’

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The TV star finished by saying he will reorganise a charity comedy gig for Kidney Cancer UK in Mullane’s name as soon as it is safe to do so.

Earlier this year the radio star had supported a campaign to help Cancer Research UK during the pandemic.

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In October she gave an update on her health, saying the tumour in her liver had grown. She underwent a blood transfusion earlier this month.

‘Living with cancer is crap and a rollercoaster, but I’m determined to enjoy life,’ she said on Instagram.

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On December 19 she posted a video of herself with her daughter watching friends sing Christmas carols outside her home.

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