03 August 2020 18:43
Tony Morris, the longstanding presenter of ITV's North West news programme Granada Reports, has died aged 57. Morris, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2019, presented the show for 17 years, until a few weeks ago. He died at Bury Hospice on Saturday, with his family by his side, ITV News confirmed on Monday. Co-presenter Lucy Meacock, who worked alongside Morris on the show, said he "brightened up the whole of the North West for 17 years". Nat & Becky x pic.twitter.com/ZH3u1HXAMe — Natalie Morris (@Nmozz) August 3, 2020 Report She added: "A smile from Tony Morris always brightened everyone's day and certainly brightened up the whole of the North West for 17 years." During a distinguished career, Morris helped Granada Reports become the first regional news programme to win a Bafta, for his and Meacock's coverage of the Morecambe Bay Cockle Picking tragedy, Lucy West, head of news at Granada Reports described him as "a remarkable man" and "a brilliant presenter and journalist who could disarm the most challenging of guests".
Writing on Twitter, Morris's daughter Natalie said: "He was more than a parent, he was also our best friend. ITV News anchor Charlene White also paid tribute, calling Morris "an utterly wonderful man, & brilliant journalist". Prior to joining Granada Reports in 2003, Morris worked on the BBC's North West Tonight. West said there would be a special programme at 18:00 BST on Monday to pay tribute to their late colleague. Emotional tributes are flooding in after the death of ITV Granada Reports presenter Tony Morris.
Longtime viewers are adding their thoughts, saying that the presenter was 'part of their evening routine' as they would settle down to 'have tea' with Mr Morris and his Granada co-presenter, Lucy Meacock. Regional presenters do have such an important part in so many peoples' lives - many people will have had their tea with Lucy and Tony for years. Another social media user said: "You can never think of Tony and not see his smile first. Viewers have praised his 'cheery disposition' and 'genuine' personality, saying that they hope 'he will meet up with Dianne Oxberry' - the beloved BBC weather presenter who died in 2019. A viewer tweeted: "Devastated at this news, I loved to see the rapport he had with Lucy and always seemed a genuine good guy. Staff at ITV's Granada Reports are 'heartbroken' as they come to terms with the loss. Mr Morris' co-presenter Lucy Meacock shared that the pair had a 'special bond' that made for a 'great partnership' on the mainstay news show. Sports reporter Chris Hall wrote a touching poem for his friend, adding 'love you, mate' as he shared it on social media. Fellow journalists across news channels have also paid their respects, with BBC North West Tonight's Annabel Tiffin telling Natalie Morris: "I am so sorry to hear about Tony. There will be a special programme on ITV at 6pm on Monday to remember Mr Morris and pay tribute to him. TRIBUTES have continued to flood in following the death of Granada Reports newsreader Tony Morris. Morris died at Bury Hospice on Saturday aged 57 after being diagnosed with kidney cancer last year. Morris had presented Granada Reports for 17 years and continued to appear on the programme until just a few weeks ago. Lucy Meacock, his co-presenter throughout that time, said: "He was without doubt one of the most humble, kind and funny people I have ever met, and he would often make me laugh till my sides ached. A smile from Tony Morris always brightened everyone's day and certainly brightened up the whole of the North West for 17 years. He wrote: "Terrible news about the death of Tony Morris of Granada Reports. She wrote: "Really sad to hear of the passing of Tony Morris. "A wonderful newsreader, presenter and interviewer on Granada Reports and a beautiful man." A proper people person whose love for the North West shone through everything he did. Former presenter of BBC North West Tonight, Gordon Burns, tweeted: "Shocked to hear of the death of Granada Reports presenter and one time BBC colleague Tony Morris. "My sincere and deepest sympathies to Tony's family and the team at Granada Reports who must be feeling totally upset and shattered at this sad time." Morris' daughter, Natalie Morris asked if people could make a donation to Bury Hospice in memory of her father. She tweeted: "We ask that rather than sending flowers people make a donation to Bury Hospice.