Denise Robertson, (9 June 1932 – 31 March 2016) was a British writer and television broadcaster. She made her television debut as the presenter of the Junior Advice Line segment of the BBC's Breakfast Time programme in 1985, though is perhaps best known as the resident agony aunt on the ITV show This Morning from its first broadcast on 3 October 1988 until her death. In the course of her career, she dealt with over 200,000 letters from viewers seeking advice. In 2006 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to broadcasting.
Born Margaret Denise Broderick on 9 June 1932 in Sunderland, County Durham, she was the youngest of two daughters of Herbert Stanley (1889–1961) and Catherine Maud Broderick (née Cahill, 1896–1971). Herbert ran a shipping business that failed before she was born. She attended Sunderland High School. Her first job was as a clerk at Sunderland Royal Infirmary. She then progressed to the position of medical secretary and later became a counsellor. She won a BBC competition to write a play and became an agony aunt on Metro Radio in Newcastle. In addition to This Morning Robertson briefly hosted her own television series Dear Denise in 2000. She also featured as a love and relationships pundit on Dave Gorman's Important Astrology Experiment in 2002. She ran an advice website called DearDenise.com and wrote a monthly column for national magazine, Candis. Robertson also made regular appearances on Channel 5's Big Brother's Bit on the Side.
She was twice widowed - she married Alexander Inkster "Alex" Robertson (1919–1972) in 1960 and they had a son Mark Alexander (born 1962). Robertson died of lung cancer in 1972 and she married the father of her son's friends, John "Jack" Tomlin (1921–1995) a year later. Tomlin died of a stroke in 1995. She then married her childhood friend Bryan Thubron, in 1997. She was a keen supporter of Sunderland A.F.C. and had worked with the University of Sunderland, appearing as guest speaker at graduation ceremonies. Robertson lived in East Boldon with her husband and dogs.] She had eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. In 1998, Robertson was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham. She was given the Freedom of the City of Sunderland in 2006 and appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Birthday Honours that year for "services to Broadcasting and to Charity".
Robertson died on 31 March 2016, aged 83, at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London after being diagnosed in early 2016 with pancreatic cancer. She made the diagnosis public in February 2016 on the television show This Morning after being absent from her usual posting as agony aunt. This Morning aired a special edition tribute programme on 1 April 2016. Her funeral took place on 13 April 2016 at Sunderland Minster and she was buried in Sunderland Cemetery.