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Harry Gration - Friend to University of Bradford

Published: by Rebecca Adamson

Harry Gration receiving his Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford

Our memories of friend to the University, Harry Gration

Like the rest of Yorkshire, we were extremely saddened to hear of the death of broadcaster and University of Bradford honorary fellow Harry Gration last week. 


Presented with his honorary doctorate in 2008, Harry was a friend of the University and a champion of the city of Bradford in the truest sense. 


His genuine pride in his home city and county was infectious, and on receiving his award from the University, the emotion of the day stemmed from how special it was to be honoured on home turf. 


We were thrilled to welcome him back onto campus in March of this year, as he hosted an event at our Unify festival. The event explored how researching space could make Bradford a better place to live - and this epoitomises his well-known generous nature - showing pride in his city and wanting the best for its residents. 


Harry saw his link with the University as an opportunity to share his wealth of knowledge, and worked on several projects over the years that gave our students invaluable insights into broadcasting. 


Born in Bradford in 1950, his journey to become one of broadcasting's iconic figures was anything but traditional. It was his love of cricket, while working as a teacher that kicked off his journalistic career, covering matches for Radio Leeds in his spare time. From there, he moved into television work and the rest, as they say, is history. 


Many have described Harry in recent days as a Yorkshire legend, and though he never saw himself as such, the title is richly deserved. Always ready to get stuck in, his natural chemistry with his colleagues on BBC Look North, and the way he radiated with love for his work won him legions of fans, not least Jeremy Clarkson, who, for Top Gear in 2010,  filmed a spoof news report with Harry featuring a heroic rescue from an overturned Robin Reliant!

On his retirement from Look North, he credited his beloved Yorkshire folk with his success: "For the past four decades, it's been a privilege to meet the people of the county I love.

"Make no mistake, these good folk are the heartbeat of the programme."


Harry is survived by wife Helen, and their children Harrison, Harvey and Hamilton, as well as Hannah, Frederick and Samuel, his children from his first and second marriages.