THE first woman to read the news on BBC television has died at the age of 93.

Nancy Wigginton, who was better known as Nan Winton, was admitted to Dorchester County Hospital on May 8 after a fall at her home in Pymore Lane, Bridport.

Her condition worsened and she died at the hospital on May 11.

An inquest into her death was opened and adjourned at the coroner's court in Bournemouth on Thursday.

Coroner's officer Ken McEwan said Ms Wigginton, who was divorced, had "become frail and had been falling frequently".

On the day of her admission to hospital, she fractured her femur, and surgery was carried out the following day.

However, she was later admitted to critical care after her heart, respiratory system and kidneys began to fail. She died in the ward.

The cause of death was given as congestive heart failure, hypertension and frailty of old age.

A full inquest will take place at the court on January 29 next year.

Ms Wigginton was a continuity announcer for the BBC from 1958 to 1961. She also worked on shows including Panorama and Town and Around.

In 1960, she began reading the 6pm news and weekend bulletins on Sunday evenings.

However, it is reported that viewers thought a woman reading the late news was 'not acceptable' and she was removed from the role in 1961.

She remained the only woman to have read the national news on BBC TV until 1975, when Angela Rippon began working as a newsreader.

In 1964, she told the Daily Mail she had "suffered" and faced "prejudice and discrimination".

"There were times when I was doing the announcing when I wanted to shout aloud like Shylock, ‘Hath not woman eyes, ears, senses?’

"In Italy and Spain they have women newsreaders who are beautiful and sexy too. We’re afraid of that here.”