BBC reporter breaks down while announcing sudden death of colleague

·3 min read
Amy Garcia struggled through tears as she told viewers former presenter Harry Gration had died. (BBC)
Amy Garcia struggled through tears as she told viewers former presenter Harry Gration had died. (BBC)

A BBC Yorkshire reporter broke down while announcing the death of colleague Harry Gration as tributes poured in for the veteran presenter.

Amy Garcia struggled through tears as she told viewers Gration had died suddenly aged 71 on Friday.

He had become a Yorkshire institution after fronting the BBC’s Look North programme between 1982 and 2020 in a career spanning more than 40 years.

Garcia told viewers the Look North team was “absolutely devastated” by his death.

File photo dated 19/12/13 of Harry Gration holding his MBE presented to him by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in London. The former BBC regional news presenter Harry Gration has died at the age of 71. The broadcaster became a Yorkshire institution after fronting the BBC's Look North programme between 1982 and 2020 in a career spanning more than 40 years. Issue date: Friday June 24, 2022.
Harry Gration holding his MBE in 2013. (Getty)

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.”

Read more: What Harry Gration meant to so many people

Lesley Garrett and Harry Gration and Carol Vorderman (Photo by Terry George/WireImage)
Lesley Garrett (L), Harry Gration and Carol Vorderman. (Getty)

Bradford-born Gration joined the BBC in 1978 after working as a history teacher and joined Look North in 1982, although he left for a spell working on BBC South Today in the 1990s.

He covered nine Olympic Games for the BBC and won two Royal Television Society (RTS) awards for his sports documentaries: White Rose In Africa in 1992 and Dickie Bird: A Rare Species in 1997.

And he won the RTS Best Presenter award twice and was made an MBE for services to broadcasting in 2013.

In 2019, Gration became a father again at the age of 68, when his wife, Helen, 53, gave birth to his sixth child.

She added: “He will forever be with us.”

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: A tribute to Harry Gration, BBC Presenter and Yorkshire Cricket board member who passed away during day three of the Third LV= Insurance Test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley on June 25, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
A tribute to Harry Gration during the test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley. (Getty)

Read more: He was a York legend - remembering Harry Gration in 30 photos

Tributes flooded in from the world of media, sport and politics following the news of Gration’s death.

BBC’s director-general Tim Davie said Gration was “loved everywhere, but especially in Yorkshire”.

Jason Horton, acting director of BBC England, described Gration as “one of the true broadcasting greats”.

Leeds United described Gration as “a magnificent journalist and a pillar of our community”.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to discover that former Board member and friend of the Club, Harry Gration, has passed away.

"Our thoughts are with Harry’s friends and families at this difficult time.”

Channel 5 news presenter Dan Walker, who recently left his role on BBC Breakfast, tweeted: “Harry would often call to talk & once, I’d been hammered in the press for something, he called with the kindest & most helpful words of encouragement.

“He cared. He was brilliant to work with, wonderful to watch & just a true gentleman”.