Harry Gration: Tributes to BBC Look North stalwart after death aged 71

He leaves behind wife, Helen, and six children. Credit: PA Images

Politicians and fellow television personalities have paid tribute to former BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration following his death at the age of 71.

In an emotional announcement at the end of Friday's Look North, Mr Gration's former co-presenter Amy Garcia said he had died "very suddenly".

He leaves behind wife, Helen, and six children.

Harry Gration with BBC weather presenter Keeley Donovan. Credit: PA

The news has been met with widespread shock, with hundreds of people paying tribute on social media.

Mr Gration's former Look North co-presenter Christa Ackroyd posted on Facebook: "Love you forever my friend. Always in my heart. Thinking of you and Helen and the children."

Carol Vorderman, who co-hosted Countdown in Leeds - the same city where Look North is broadcast - wrote on Twitter: "So sad. Spent 26 years making Countdown in Leeds, living there for very many years too.

"Richard Whiteley was the host of ITV Calendar news and Harry was the same on the local BBC. Harry was a wonderful, funny, kind gentleman. This news will break many people's hearts."

There were also tributes from the world of politics. The Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted that Mr Gration was a "true gentleman".

"You will be missed across the whole of Yorkshire," she said.

East Hull MP Karl Turner said: "He was missed when he retired from BBC Yorkshire and he will be very sadly missed by all that knew and loved him."

And the Barnsley MP and former South Yorkshire Mayor, Dan Jarvis, tweeted that he was "terribly sad".

"Harry was a legend and his wit and wisdom will be much missed. Yorkshire will be a lesser place without him," he said.

Many who worked alongside him over the years are sharing fond memories, including former BBC presenter Dan Walker.

He said: "He would often call to discuss stories or talk things through and, there was one occasion, I’d been hammered in the press for something, and Harry 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."

In sport, the Rugby Football League described Harry as a "polished, professional and knowledgeable broadcaster, and a valued supporter of our sport".

Leeds United said: "Harry Gration was a magnificent journalist and a pillar of our community."

It has not been confirmed how Mr Gration died.

Look North said that a full on-air tribute would be paid to him next week.