One of the BBC's most distinctive radio announcers Patricia Hughes has died at the age of 90 in a Winchester nursing home.

Hughes started at the BBC as a secretary in 1944, before becoming an announcer with a famed elegant voice.

She appeared on the Light Programme, the Home Service and the Third Programme, now known as Radio 3.

In 1969, following a career break, she returned to Radio 3 until she retired in 1983.

For many years, she was the only female announcer on Radio 3.

In addition to her radio work she recorded a number of audiobooks, including an autobiography of Margaret Thatcher, the BBC said.

She died yesterday at a nursing home in Winchester, Hampshire and leaves a daughter, Emma, and two grand-daughters.

Michael Berkeley, presenter of Private Passions on Radio 3, said she had been an "utterly idiosyncratic voice of Radio 3 for many years".

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3, said: "I was saddened to hear about the death of Patricia Hughes, one of BBC Radio 3's best-loved voices.

"Her contribution to radio in general and the station in particular was significant - not least her memorable introductions to lunch-time concerts.

"She was much loved by our listeners and her death marks the passing of an era."