Tributes have been pouring in to the legendary broadcaster and York resident Harry Gration who has died suddenly.
The 71-year-old became a Yorkshire institution after fronting the corporation’s Look North programme for 38 years.
The news was announced by his former co-presenter, an emotional Amy Garcia, at the end of BBC Look North this evening.
She said: “As we close the programme tonight, I have some very sad news to share with you all.
“Our much-loved friend and colleague Harry Gration very suddenly died today.
“We all at Look North are absolutely devastated to give you this news.
“Next week we will take our time to pay tribute to Harry properly – that’s what he deserves.
“But tonight our hearts go out to Harry’s wife Helen, their children, and all of Harry’s friends.
“I know that you will want to pay tribute to him as well. Good night.”
‘He will forever be with us’
Harry’s wife, Helen, paid tribute to her husband tonight, saying: “He will forever be with us.”
She added: “Our three boys and I loved Harry totally. We had an awful lot of fun with him and our home was his life.”
BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: “Harry Gration MBE was an outstanding broadcaster and commentator.
“He had a real connection with the public who saw him as one of their own.
“Loved everywhere, but especially in Yorkshire, he will be hugely missed by his many fans and friends. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
One of the first to pay tribute was YorkMix news man and former colleague of Harry, David Dunning.
Jason Horton, acting director, BBC England, said Mr Gration was “one of the true broadcasting greats”.
“He was a natural on the television and on radio, adored by our audiences, especially as the trusted face of Look North and South Today.
“He loved news, sport, his colleagues and fundraising for Children in Need and Comic Relief. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and everyone across the BBC who he worked with.”
Born in Bradford, he moved to York with his father’s work, and was educated at St Peter’s School in the city. He has lived here for many years.
Harry joined the BBC in 1978 after working as a history teacher, and joined Look North in 1982, although he left for a spell working on BBC South Today in the 1990s.
He covered nine Olympic Games for the BBC and won two Royal Television Society (RTS) awards for his sports documentaries: White Rose In Africa in 1992 and Dickie Bird: A Rare Species in 1997.
And he won the RTS Best Presenter award twice.
In 2019, Harry became a father again at the age of 68, when his wife, Helen, gave birth to his sixth child.
Harry was a devoted dad as this Instagram post from earlier in the year shows.
Even after retiring from the BBC, Harry led an active life. He was tweeting from The Yorkshire Society’s jubilee charity dinner six days ago, where he was guest speaker, an event which raised £4,000 for Ukraine.
Aside from broadcasting, Harry had been president of the Scarborough Cricket Festival, chairman of the Yorkshire Tourist Board Tourism Awards and was involved with numerous charities.
He was also a deputy lieutenant of North Yorkshire.
Some pictures of the man, the legend, Harry Gration. RIP.