Former BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration dies aged 71

Former BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration Credit: PA

The former BBC Yorkshire presenter Harry Gration has died at the age of 71.

His death was announced by his former Look North co-presenter Amy Garcia, who confirmed that he died on Friday. The cause of his death has not been revealed.

Fighting back tears as she sent her condolences to Harry's family and friends, Ms Garcia told viewers that the programme would pay full tribute to the much-loved journalist next week.

In a tweet, Look North's official account said: "Our much loved friend and colleague Harry Gration died suddenly today. We are absolutely heartbroken to give you this news.

"Tonight our hearts go out to Harry's wife Helen, their children and all of Harry's family and friends."

Born in Bradford and educated in York, Mr Gration began his broadcast career as a rugby league commentator for the BBC in 1978, while still working as a history teacher.

Having joined Look North in 1982, he went on to have a career on the show spanning almost four decades. He presented the programme for the last time in 2020.

Among those he presented alongside were Judith Stamper and Christa Ackroyd.

A multiple Royal Television Society (RTS) award-winner, including twice as Best Presenter, the father-of-six raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity through a series of events with BBC colleagues.

Mr Gration, a keen cricket fan, seen here with former umpire Dickie Bird. Credit: PA

Mr Gration's wife, Helen, paid tribute to her husband, telling the Corporation: "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."

Away from television, Mr Gration was also a deputy lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

In July 2011, he was awarded an honorary degree by the faculty of arts at Leeds Metropolitan University, and in 2013 he was named Man of the Year at the Yorkshire Awards.