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Celebrating 30 years of Keith Wilkinson on ITV News Central

Keith Wilkinson hard at work in the newsroom, oblivious to me snapping this picture of him Photo: ITV News Central

Keith Wilkinson. The very name conjures up a man who's seen and done it all in regional news - and is still here ! Plane crashes, torrential weather, steam trains, celebrity banter (in which he got an on-air soaking), an ability for real empathy with Midlanders and their stories - Keith has covered it all.

To work in the same job in any industry for 30 years is a commendable achievement. To do it in an ever-changing TV news environment, where journalists are constantly asked to learn new skills such as self-shooting, editing, creating graphics etc, is even more of an achievement. This is the newsroom's tribute to the award-winning man who can - Keith Wilkinson.

So let's begin our look-back at 30 years of Keith Wilkinson on ITV News Central (we've gone through a few name changes ourself over that time - but Keith has stuck with us throughout)...Our presenter Bob Warman introduces our first video of Keith's career.

So here's the video for Keith Wilkinson's 2010 report on the revival of an iconic sports car - a car design that's close to his heart.

Keith and transport - a great combination ! So what's next on our highlights list for Keith ? Bob has more.

Click below for the report - the views are lovely, it almost doesn't seem like work for Keith ! It's him onboard the Severn Valley Railway in the summer of 2002 - and he pretty much sums it up himself in his very first sentence.

So that's Keith in his element, next, well we're staying with nostalgia, and even get to hear about Keith's favourite film, as Bob's next introduction mentions....

So here's Keith's report in 2013 on the 70th anniversary of the Dambuster Raids. Keith's father was a rear gunner in a bomber during the Second World War. It's a great report, looking at the part the Midlands played.

Now onto a story which Keith has covered many times for ITV News Central over the years - the harrowing case of the Stephanie Slater kidnapping. Here's Bob's introduction.

And here's Keith's report from 2012, where he travels to the Isle of Wight to reunite with Stephanie Slater, 20 years after the ordeal. It's a great example of Keith keeping in touch with people from the Midlands and their stories.

A powerful report showing Keith's natural ability to revisit a sensitive story, and hear from those at the heart of it. Next on our list - Keith puts himself in the front-line, all for the sake of a story, as Bob explains below.

So here's Keith's report about his amazing journey back in 2008, as he completes 200 days of extreme exercise, as part of his "Human Guinea Pig" challenge. He worked with teams at the Human Performance Laboratory in Birmingham - see what doctors said about his transformation.

A great watch, and staying with tough challenges, well, we'll let Bob explain.....

Keith has proved time and time again that he's not afraid to get his hands dirty. But in this case in 2004, high up in the Welsh Hills, it's a lot more than hands....

Keith braving the elements as ever. Well after 30 years in the business, he's a pro - but what about his first few reports for ITV News Central? We've been digging through the archives, and found one of, if not his earliest, TV report back in 1984.

Moving onto 1986, cast your mind back to the times when it was a novelty to have a baby-changing area in a men's toilet ! A big deal back then - note how much this part of Birmingham has now changed in Keith's report !

There are plenty of "Keith classics" that I could include in this list, but this is just a snapshot of some of his very best work. I couldn't possibly end a tribute to Keith without including one of his many various encounters with celebrities in the Midlands - and it's the classic 2006 Chris Tarrant report, where Keith....well..... watch and find out !

Keith, from all your colleagues at ITV News Central and those Midlanders who you've met on this 30-year-journey, we salute you !

Click here to hear read Keith's Q+A on his colourful career, his personal favourites over the years, and the one story he's still determined to do !!