Television weather girl who became a noted producer and director
The striking brunette Trish Williamson was one of the first TV-am “weather
girls”, part of an eye-catching lineup of breakfast-time weathercasters who,
like Ulrika Jonsson, used their daily slot on Good Morning Britain to launch
subsequent careers in the media. In Williamson's case, TV-am led to success
in television journalism, as a producer and award-winning director.
Her weather-girl fame came after she assisted Michael Parkinson with his
research in St Lucia for a behind the scenes documentary about Water, a film
starring Michael Caine and Billy Connolly. She knew Parkinson through her
father, the documentary-maker Harold Williamson, and was living on the
island with her first husband. When, after her divorce, she returned to the
UK, Parkinson helped her to find work as a researcher at TV-am, the first
national independent breakfast station, on which he was both a presenter and
By the mid-1980s TV-am had survived initial problems with budget and ratings,
partly through adopting a more lighthearted style, as reflected in such
innovations as glamorous weathercasters, though this and similar measures
did not save it from eventual closure in 1992.
By the late 1980s Williamson was working on the original ITV national weather
team, as well as for ITN as a reporter. This led to presenting work on
regional programmes (Sailaway, Countrywide for Anglia) plus a stint
co-hosting Getaways, the ITV travel series with Anne Gregg (obituary,
September 9, 2006).
In 1994 Williamson returned to ITV as a weather forecaster and presented the
travelogue Breakaways and the magazine programme After 5 with Trish
Williamson. This inspired her to write and produce her own travel
programmes. She went on to produce the Trailblazers series (1998) for the
Discovery Channel and Dream Ticket (1999) for the ITV company LWT, before
working on the BBC's investigative series Inside Out. She recently finished
producing Born Survivors, a new BBC Three series about teenagers that is due
to be screened next month. She won several awards for her documentaries on
subjects ranging from a teenager in the Salvation Army to the long-term
impact of the drug Ritalin on children suffering attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder, to the Gypsy community in northern England.
Williamson leaves two sons from her second marriage to Cameron Maxwell Lewis,
which, like her first, was dissolved.
Patricia “Trish” Williamson, television presenter, producer and director,
was born on January 3, 1955. She died in a car crash on November 9, 2007,