ITV News Central's Presenter Bob Warman says goodbye to regional news after half a century on screen

ITV Central's legendary broadcaster Bob Warman will today say goodbye to regional news after half a century on our screens. 

Bob is one of ITV's longest serving news anchors and has presented regional news in the Central/Midlands region since 1973. 

He joined in the days of Central's predecessor ATV in April 1973 - the same year which saw the end of the American War in Vietnam and when Britain joined the Common Market. 

Since then, Bob has covered every single type of story from the Birmingham pub bombings to the closure of the world famous Longbridge car works - as well as fronting up charity marathons. 

"I still remember one Telethon where after 24 hours of adrenaline filled broadcasting I ended up singing ‘he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’, with Allan Clarke from The Hollies."

Bob continues: "Whether it was viewers ringing in to ask me to stop, or some other reason, I’ll never know, but it raised a huge amount of money for local charities and I am proud of that."

Bob Warman joined in the days of Central’s predecessor ATV in April 1973

On Monday July 4, the much-loved presenter will broadcast his last show on ITV Central at 6pm after more than 50 years in television.

He said: "By any measure it’s been a long stint in front of the camera and I will miss my colleagues and the hundreds of thousands of viewers who’ve remained loyal to ITV News over the years.

"It’s difficult to know when to call it a day, especially when I do a job I love with colleagues who are special to me. 

"But time is running [out] and I have many interests which I want to pursue."

Bob’s broadcast journey from ATV to Yorkshire Television to ITV Central 

Bob originally joined ATV as a reporter before moving to Yorkshire Television in 1976, when he was chosen to front the regional programme for ITV News Calendar with the late Richard Whiteley. 

The following year Bob co-presented the very first breakfast television programme, a three month pilot which led to the establishment of TV-AM.

But the lure of the Midlands and its warm people had Walsall-born Bob returning to ATV in 1978 to present the evening programme. He has been a nightly feature ever since.

Bob Warman and his links to the Midlands 

Bob, who was named as one of the 100 ‘Great Brummies’ during Birmingham’s Centenary as a city, attended preparatory school in Shrewsbury. 

He was, ironically, a contemporary of BBC Midlands presenter Nick Owen before getting his journalistic start on his local newspaper The Walsall Observer when the Editor gave him three weeks to see "whether we like you and you like us".  

Bob’s achievements include being a recipient of the Baird Medal, The Royal Television Society’s highest honour in recognition of ‘his outstanding contribution to the Midlands television community’. 

He is the President of the Birmingham Press Club and a Life Vice President of the Journalists’ Charity. He is also a patron of Acorns Children’s Hospice.

He is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University.

There is no doubt he’ll be greatly missed by viewers and fellow broadcasters alike. 

"It's been a privilege to work alongside this ‘Living Legend’",  Sameena Ali-Khan says   

Bob Warman (left) and Sameena Ali-Khan have been presenting ITV Central's Evening News together for 13 years Credit: ITV News Central / ITV

For the past 13 years he has co-hosted ITV News Central with Sameena Ali Khan who describes Bob as a "Living Legend" and "a privilege to work alongside". 

She said: "People always talk about Bob being a timeline to their life, and when you've done almost 50 years of giving people the news in the Midlands, you can see why!

"To me, Bob has been a good friend, someone to have a laugh with and someone to learn from.

"It's been a privilege to work alongside him for the past 13 years because he really is a 'Living Legend' and like many of our viewers, we'll miss him hugely."

Bob is one of ITV's longest serving news anchors and has presented regional news in the Midlands region since 1973 Credit: ITV News Central / ITV

ITV Central’s Head of News Liz Hannam said: "It’s been an honour to work with Bob, a man whose iconic status terrified me when I first joined as a trainee in 1989, but I soon learnt what a caring, principled and courteous man he really is.

"He has been a constant in the lives of Midlanders for generations. He understands and champions our region, always with warmth and good humour. He’s proud of his roots and we’re proud of him - he’ll be much missed."

Paying tribute Michael Jermey, ITV’s Director of News and Current Affairs, said: "It's impossible to overstate the enormous contribution Bob Warman has made to ITV over the decades.

"He will be greatly missed by viewers and colleagues alike.

"Bob has had a truly exceptional career. He's been on top of his game since he first started presenting on ATV in the 1970's, right through to being the trusted voice of the Midlands on ITV News Central in the 2020's.

"Bob is an exceptional broadcaster, a very fine journalist and a great champion of regional news. He's held in enormously high regard not only within ITV but right across the broadcast industry. 

"We wish him all the very best for the future."