The popular Birmingham barrister Martin Jenkins, who was married to Central TV presenter Llewela Bailey, has died of throat cancer, aged 53.
Mr Jenkins collapsed in the kitchen of his Moseley home minutes after helping to fetch drinks for a wedding anniversary party the couple had planned to host yesterday.
Ms Bailey, who was with her husband on Friday when he died, said she was relieved he no longer had to suffer.
Friends gathered at the house yesterday to comfort Ms Bailey and her children Jack, Jessie, stepson Tom and twins Ben and Harry.
The 45 year- old mother-of-five said: "We are just sat in the garden having a drink and remembering Martin.
"Martin loved socialising. We had planned to have our 13th wedding anniversary party even though it wasn't our anniversary.
"We knew, of course, that he had a terminal illness but we thought we would have a party for about 100 people and then he would be able to see all his friends.
"On Friday, he insisted on going to the off licence with a friend to choose the drink. He was very ill but he insisted on going. That was absolutely typical of the man.
"He came into the house and carried the boxes in. Then he just collapsed in the kitchen and died. It was all very sudden.
"At least, it wasn't long and drawn out at the end. He loved a drink, loved his friends and loved life.
"We all miss him terribly, but he had been ill for a long time. I was so glad that I was able to be there with him when he died."
Mr Jenkins, a barrister based at Citadel Chambers in Corporation Street, was diagnosed with throat cancer at the end of 2003. Ms Bailey admitted the family had no idea at the time that he was seriously ill and was stunned by the news.
"We didn't think for one second Martin had cancer. He had been feeling unwell and had a cough that got worse. During a holiday in Portugal he was so bad that I kept joking with him that he had consumption," she said.
"The GP referred us to a specialist and I remember we were laughing as we went into the hospital that morning.
"But by that evening, we knew he had a cancerous tumour in the back of his throat."
Treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital appeared to be successful at first and the couple were cautiously optimistic about his recovery.
But the symptoms returned and in March, Mr Jenkins was told he had three months to live.
The family decided to pack as much as possible into the last weeks of his life.
"We had a good innings in the last couple of months. We went on holiday as a family and work have been brilliant. They said just take time and go," Ms Bailey recalled.
A few months ago, talking about her husband's illness, Ms Bailey said the trauma felt like "being in a car crash".
It is not the first time the television presenter has been hit by tragedy.
Her four-month-old son James died from cot death in 1979 and she later found out one of her twin sons, Ben, was suffering with Asperger's Syndrome.
Arrangements for the funeral will be announced shortly.