Born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, she attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School for Girls before working as a secretary and starting in local television (Granada TV) as a reporter and presenter. She progressed to nationally networked programmes, such as Nationwide, Open Air, Loose Women and, on BBC Radio 4, You and Yours. Her premature death resulted from brain cancer at the age of 50; she had had breast cancer previously.
After her first divorce, her partner for several years was the historian and broadcaster Michael Wood. She later remarried in 1998, and is survived by him, as well as her daughter Dannie (b. 1992), from her first marriage.
- Broadcaster Pattie Coldwell dies, BBC, 18 October 2002.
- Pattie Coldwell: Courageous crusader, BBC, 18 October 2002.
- Obituary, The Times, 19 October 2002, subscription required.
- Obituary, The Guardian, 31 October 2002.
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