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Tributes paid to former Radio Norwich and The Beach newsreader who died aged 31

PUBLISHED: 12:33 09 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:16 09 March 2018

Christina Earle. Picture: Paul Tonge.

Christina Earle. Picture: Paul Tonge.

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An “exceptional journalist” who started her career in Lowestoft before becoming The Sun’s health features editor has died aged 31.

Ross Hutchinson, former news editor at The Beach, with Christina Earle. Picture: Ross Hutchinson.Ross Hutchinson, former news editor at The Beach, with Christina Earle. Picture: Ross Hutchinson.

Tributes have been pouring in to Christina Earle following her death on Friday, March 2, described by colleagues at The Sun as “inspirational” and “kind-hearted”.

Christina completed a degree in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, and her first role was as a broadcast journalist and newsreader at The Beach in Lowestoft and Radio Norwich. She started working part-time in 2007 and became a fully fledged member of the team the following year.

Her sister Catherine Earle said: “Christina always wanted to be a journalist. She was naturally very inquisitive as a child and had an ability to connect with people on all levels.

“This is clear from the huge number of tributes she has received since her death. She touched many people’s lives and as a result, raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Christina Earle during her time working at The Beach radio in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of The Beach.Christina Earle during her time working at The Beach radio in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of The Beach.

“She loved going out to actually meet people to get their story - and that’s something she developed through her career. She was always destined for bigger things and she progressed quickly to become the health editor at The Sun.

“That’s not by chance - she was an exceptional journalist and an exceptional person. Christina was involved in The Beach’s ‘Help An East Coast Child’ and several other local campaigns to help the region. This sparked her interest in health journalism.”

Christina joined The Sun as a freelancer in 2011 before joining the paper’s staff. She was promoted to health features editor in 2017 and launched the inaugural Who Cares Win awards for NHS staff later the same year.

Christina married her husband Oliver Newbury in July last year and together they lived in Isleworth, London.

Christina Earle during her time working at The Beach radio in Lowestoft pictured with colleagues Tim Lindon, Paul Carter, James Oxley and Ross Hutchinson. Picture: Courtesy of The Beach.Christina Earle during her time working at The Beach radio in Lowestoft pictured with colleagues Tim Lindon, Paul Carter, James Oxley and Ross Hutchinson. Picture: Courtesy of The Beach.

Her parents Melvyn and Marie Earle still live in Blundeston, near Lowestoft.

Catherine added: “I’m proud to call Christina my sister. She was a beautiful person, inside and out, and she touched so many peoples lives.

“Her life was cut far too short and she will be sadly missed by all those that knew her. She will always be in our hearts and remembered as a loving wife, daughter and the best sister I could ever have asked for.”

Tributes from colleagues and friends

Ross Hutchinson, former news editor at The Beach, said: “It is hard to write a tribute to someone who was such a big part of my life. I still can’t get my head around the fact she has gone. She was a true friend.

“We worked together for a few years at The Beach, leaving on the same day to start our new adventures. We stayed close after, even spending a few Christmases together.

“Christina was always going to go far, her self belief helped me and others to push ourselves further than we thought possible. She had such a presence and was one of those people who just got things done. I describe her as a ‘force of nature’.

“She really was a one off and leaves the world a better place.

“I am so proud to have been her friend. I miss her.”

Paul Carter, content controller for Anglian Radio which includes The Beach and Radio Norwich, also paid tribute.

He said: “I was shocked and saddened to hear the news. I have some lovely memories of Christina. Christina had a smile that would light up any room.”

Clare O’Reilly, a freelance journalist for The Sun and a friend of Christina’s said: “I’ve spent nearly two decades as a journalist and Christina was one of the finest I’ve ever had the honour of working with.

“But she was more than just an exceptional, world class journalist. She was funny, kind, warm, sensitive and had a solution for everything; whether that was what shoes would pair with a dress for a wedding, or how to deal with a tricky or sensitive story.

“I’ll miss her immensely as a colleague but even more so as a very dear friend. Everything seems a little duller without her here.”

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