Journalists across Yorkshire pay tribute to TV legend Harry Gration

Journalists across Yorkshire paid tribute to Harry Gration, the respected BBC Look North presenter, following his death last month.

The Bradford-born broadcaster joined the BBC in 1978 and Look North in 1982. He presented his last show in 2020.

Known as the face of Look North, he presented around 12,000 editions of the regional BBC news programme until his retirement.

His illustrious career began in sport for BBC Radio Leeds in 1978.

Harry’s death was announced in the early evening of June 24, with the front page of his hometown Bradford Telegraph and Argus splashing on the sad news the following day.

Tributes continued over a number of days, with nostalgia writer Dave Welbourne writing: “He was a man of integrity who people trusted. He was good at getting the best out of an interview. When he retired from Look North the day before his 70th birthday, he was inundated by viewers who regarded him after all these years as a ‘member of the family’. He was greatly missed by colleagues and the general public alike.

“His style was a model for anyone in the media to look up to. This priceless asset to the BBC was always genuine and had time for others. No one had a bad word for him.

The T&A also opened an online book of condolence.

Former Trinity Mirror Regionals editorial director Neil Benson remembered working with Harry during the former’s time at the Telegraph and Argus.

Neil wrote: “Really sad to hear of Harry Gration’s passing. An outstanding, multi-talented broadcaster, and a lovely man.

“In 1988, the BBC was sending him to Seoul as part of their Olympics team. Bradfordian Harry asked if the Telegraph & Argus would like him to provide some coverage on our local athletes.

“Although he wasn’t a print journalist, Harry did a wonderful job for us, the highlight being his report on Bingley’s Adrian Moorhouse winning gold in the Olympic pool. Top professional and a top man.”

Harry’s death also made the front page of the Yorkshire Post, with a tribute written by editor James Mitchinson.

James wrote: “It is no exaggeration to say that Harry Gration’s name is as synonymous with Yorkshire as tea itself.

“His cheeky smile across the living room from the television has been a staple of our lives for so long, yet his affable demeanor never did compromise his journalistic tenacity.

“Be assured, there will never be the like of Harry Gration again. Yorkshire has lost more than just a newsreader. We have lost someone whose shoes were steeped in white rose muck, always the first to get stuck in to any challenge, and who would walk to the county boundaries for people less fortunate than he.

“Harry, we will miss you dearly. From the fun times with your intrepid weatherman Paul Hudson to the times when you fought our corner. Life in Yorkshire is better for your contribution. Rest easy.”

Educated in York, Harry was well known in the city and supported many causes in the area. In the York Press, where Harry once had a column, community content editor Maxine Gordon paid tribute.

Maxine wrote: “He may have been the face of Look North for almost 40 years — but he was more than a just a TV presenter to the people of York.

“From charity champion and City football fan, to panto side-kick and devoted father, who only had his last child in 2019 at the age of 68, Harry has been a regular face in the pages of The Press.

“Harry shared his family life with readers too — and photos too of his family in York, with wife Helen and children, twin boys Harvey and Harrison, and baby Hamilton, who was born in September 2019.

“His death at the age of 71 will be mourned by many and our condolences go to all his family and friends.”

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here.

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