A news reporter broke down as she reported the death of her colleague Harry Gration at aged 71.
Amy Garcia of BBC Yorkshire fought back tears as she announced the sudden death of Mr Gration live on air last night.
She told viewers live from Wakefield that the whole team at Look North are ‘absolutely devastated’ by the news.
Mr Gration, the former presenter of BBC Yorkshire’s Look North news programme, joined the corporation in 1978 and Look North in 1982, and stood down from the role in 2020.
He was awarded an MBE in 2019, and has won two Royal Television Society awards for sports documentaries.He also won the RTS Best Presenter award on two occasions.
Tributes have flooded in from other broadcasters including BBC’s Clive Myrie, LBC’s James O’Brien and Channel 5’s Dan Walker who called him a ‘true gent’ and a ‘brilliant’ presenter.
Veteran BBC news presenter Harry Gration has died ‘suddenly’ aged 71.Pictured in 2019 with his MBE from the Prince of Wales
Harry and Helen Gration welcomed their third child, his sixth, Harrison in 2019, when he was 68 and she was 50
His wife Helen Gration, 53, Microsoft paid tribute to her husband: ‘He will forever be with us.’ The couple welcomed their third child, Harrison in 2019, when he was 68 and she was 50.Gration is pictured centre with Lesley Garrett, left, and Carol Vorderman, right
He was awarded an MBE in 2019, and has won two Royal Television Society awards for sports documentaries.He also won the RTS Best Presenter award on two occasions
Ms Garcia 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.Goodnight.’
His wife Helen Gration, 53, paid tribute to her husband: ‘He will forever be with us.’
The couple welcomed their third child, his sixth, Harrison in 2019, when he was 68 and she was 50.
‘Our three boys and I loved Harry totally.We had an awful lot of fun with him and our home was his life.’
The couple used an egg donor and had to travel to Cyprus for the IVF treatment because UK law prohibits IVF being provided for women of Mrs Gration’s age.
The child’s birth comes after trolls sent the TV host messages in June saying the couple would be too old to look after their new child.
Mr Gration responded to those claims at the time by saying: ‘You do get some people on social media who have negative things to say but I am taking it all on the chin.’
The presenter had three children from two previous marriages with Helen his third wife.
In tribute, LBC’s James O’Brien said: ‘I don’t think any broadcasters build a bond with their audience as strong as the ones built by long serving presenters of regional news.
‘They are part of the furniture when you’re at home and part of home when you’re not.Harry Gration embodied this. Thank you and good night.’
Channel 5’s Dan Walker, who used to work at the BBC said: ‘Harry would often call to talk and once, I’d been hammered in the press for something, he called with the kindest and most helpful words of encouragement.He cared.
‘He was brilliant to work with, wonderful to watch and just a true gentleman. He will be missed by many.’
BBC presenter Clive Myrie also called Harry Gration a ‘brilliant broadcaster.’
The corporation’s director general Tim Davie paid tribute to the late presenter: ‘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.’
BBC presenter Harry Gration and wife Helen, eight month Hamilton and their twins Harrison and Harvey, both 17
The child’s birth in 2019 came after trolls sent the TV host messages in June saying the couple would be too old to look after their new child.Pictured: Harry Gration with eight month old Hamilton
Pictured: BBC presenter Harry Gration and wife Helen with Hamilton. The couple used an egg donor and had to travel to Cyprus for the IVF treatment because UK law prohibits IVF being provided for women of Mrs Gration’s age
The couple welcomed their third child, his sixth, Harrison in 2019, when he was 68 and she was 50
The 71-year-old was born in Bradford and began his career at the BBC by filing match reports for the BBC – at the same time working as a history teacher in the mid-1970s
The 71-year-old was born in Bradford and began his career at the BBC by filing match reports for the BBC – at the same time working as a history teacher in the mid-1970s.
Jason Horton, acting director of BBC England, described Gration as ‘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 added.
‘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.’
Huddersfield Town FC said in a statement: ‘Everyone at HTFC is devastated to learn about the passing of Harry Gration. A true friend to the Club over many years and a true legend of broadcasting across Yorkshire.Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.’
Leeds United said on Twitter: ‘Harry Gration was a magnificent journalist and a pillar of our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Helen and Harry’s family. Rest in Peace, Harry.’
He was made an MBE for services to broadcasting in 2013.Speaking after it was announced he was leaving the BBC in 2020, Gration said: ‘I’ve interviewed every prime minister since Margaret Thatcher, covered every major Look North story even at the expense of my holidays, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
‘I’ve always lived the story.Horrendous events such as the devastating news of Jo Cox’s death, the disastrous floods of recent times, the Bradford riots, Hillsborough, have always affected me. They were always an assault on my county.
‘Stand-out moments include raising over £800,000 on a tandem, pushing a sofa and being tied to Paul: three challenges my body will never forget.’
He was also a deputy lieutenant of North Yorkshire and charity champion who regularly ran a 10K for charity in York.