Calderdale pays tribute to BBC Look North's 'true gentleman' Harry Gration

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Much-loved BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration has died suddenly, aged 71.

The news was broken earlier this evening (Friday) on tonight's Look North programme.

Harry 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.

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

Harry Gration (Getty Images)Harry Gration (Getty Images)
Harry Gration (Getty Images)

In 2013 his work in broadcasting was recognised when he was appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Calderdale resident Christa Ackroyd, who worked with Harry for 13 years and knew him for 30 years, said: “We met on my birthday recently and were supposed to meet up for lunch next week.

“Although he was my work colleague he was above all my friend. We shared many happy times together.

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“He did so many things but the thing he was most proud of was bringing news to Yorkshire people. He wasn’t a professional Yorkshireman, he was a proud Yorkshireman.

“I remember when we both got honorary degrees at Bradford University, we both smiled at each other. Two Bradford kids from ordinary backgrounds being given honorary degrees. He was so proud to represent Yorkshire. What a man he was.”

Chief Executive Officer of The Piece Hall Trust Nicky Chance-Thompson said: "Such sad and shocking news about the passing of Harry Gration.

"A true gentleman, proud Yorkshireman, family man and an all round good human.

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"I will always remember what a wonderful ambassador you always were for us at The Piece Hall, working a 10-hour shift on our re-opening day."

Halifax's MP Holly Lynch said: "Such sad news, Harry was such a familiar face to everyone in Yorkshire.

"Thinking of Harry’s family and all those he worked with at BBC Look North."

MP for the Calder Valley Craig Whittaker said: "Such a sad loss. Such a wonderful, caring man who will be missed.

"Condolences to his family and colleagues he worked with."