BBC hosts now – Game show fame, Sheeran link and death announced on air

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Fans and stars from the world of entertainment were recently left devastated, following the death of BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration.

The broadcaster died suddenly on June 24, 2022, with fellow presenters and friends paying tribute to the much loved star.

Harry Gration is just one of the stars to have presented news for the BBC throughout the decades, with viewers across the country tuning in for broadcasts by journalists who have become familiar faces to us all.

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While some have moved to other channels since leaving the BBC, others from regional news programmes and the News At Ten have retired or sadly died.

Here, Daily Star takes a look at where some of the classic BBC presenters are now.

Gordon Burns

Gordon Burns, 80, was a BBC North West icon, presenting North West Tonight from 1997-2011.

Although he began his career as a journalist at the Belfast Telegraph and worked on programmes including Granada News and World In Action, Gordon is most fondly remembered for his game show stint.

From 1977-1995, Gordon was the host of popular ITV gameshow The Krypton Factor, becoming a TV legend in the process.

However, the star revealed that he almost turned down the gameshow, telling The Daily Express: "My reaction when I was offered The Krypton Factor was, ‘Don’t be ridiculous, I’m a serious journalist’.

"But the show’s format was unique, with contestants being tested on their mental, physical and observational skills."

He's not the only famous star in his family too, as it is reported that he is also a second cousin of the multi-million selling artist Ed Sheeran.

Gordon later retired in 2013, and away from the limelight, the star has two children with his wife, who he lives with in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Peter Sissons

Peter Sissons was a regular presenter on BBC news during the nineties and early noughties, after hosting Question Time from 1989.

Long before he was a journalist however, the Liverpudlian born presenter also studied at the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys alongside Paul McCartney, who paid tribute to him in an Instagram post saying he was: "a talented news presenter with a great sense of humour".

After studying in Liverpool and then at Oxford, he read the news on ITV and helped to launch first episode of Channel 4 news in 1982, before joining the BBC.

In his personal life, Peter was married to Sylvia Sissons from 1965, with who he had three children called Kate, Michael and Jonathan.

However, Peter died at the age of 77 years old on October 1, 2019, with his family releasing a statement saying he "died peacefully" in Maidstone Hospital in Kent.

"His wife and three children were with him and wish to pass on their thanks to the hospital staff," read the statement.

Following his death, The BBC director general, Tony Hall, said: "Peter Sissons was one of the great television figures of his time – as an interviewer, presenter and world-class journalist.

"During his distinguished career he was one of the most recognisable and well-respected faces of television news.

"He was always a great person to be with and to work with. He will be missed by his many friends and colleagues, and our thoughts are with his family."

Moira Stuart

Moira Stuart, 72, is another BBC News icon, after presenting the News At Ten, Sunday AM and Breakfast With Frost during her time at the channel.

After becoming a continuity announcer for the BBC in 1978, she later appeared on TV programme The Adventure Game, before presenting the News At Noon in 1981.

Although she departed from BBC News in 2007, her broadcasting career at the channel continued as a news reader on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2, and she currently hosts Moira Stuart Meets… on Classic FM.

That's not all, as she also showed off her fabulous dancing skills on the 2021 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, and played herself on comedy show Extras, opposite Ricky Gervais.

Speaking ahead of her Strictly stint, she told Classic FM: "I’m really looking forward to the Strictly Christmas special.

"I’ve loved dancing for as long as I can remember. In fact it even helped me try to keep warm in my early cold water flat!"

Away from the limelight, Moira tends to keep her personal life private, but it is reported that she has never married.

Moira was also appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours, for services to broadcasting.

Speaking about the honour, she told the BBC: "Since my first Radio 4 news bulletin in 1978 through to my last BBC News summary in 2018, I've been committed to public service broadcasting, which gave me the chance to shift barriers, open doors, and change so many stagnant stereotypes.

"No, it hasn't been easy, but this magnificent honour means so much to me, and I shall cherish it always."

Harry Gration

Harry Gration was a regular face on BBC Yorkshire's Look North programme for nearly four decades, presenting the programme between 1982-2020.

However before he was a journalist he was a history teacher, with the star making a career u-turn into broadcasting after he began filing match reports for the BBC.

His work was highly commended, with the presenter winning two Royal Television Society awards, and being awarded an MBE in in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2013 for his outstanding contribution to broadcasting.

During his time at the BBC, he also raised over £800,000 for charity on a tandem bike ride alongside his co-host Amy Garcia.

Away from the limelight, the star was married to wife Helen Gration, with who he had six children.

However, Harry Gration died suddenly on June 24, 2022 at the age of 71 years old, with Amy Garcia becoming tearful as she announced her friend's death on air.

She 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 suddenly died today. We all at Look North are absolutely devastated to give you this news."

Following his death, Harry's wife Helen also took to social media to thank fans and friends for their tributes, saying: "The boys & I would like to thank everyone sincerely for the beautiful things here about Harry."

She added: "We’ll try to reply as much as possible in time. We love him & miss him totally. Helen xx

Angela Rippon

Angela Rippon CBE was a regular presenter on BBC's Nine O' Clock news from 1975, before presenting the first two series of Top Gear and hosting The Big Breakfast – becoming a TV icon in the process.

She also showed off her impressive physique and toned pins during a dance routine with comedy legends Morecambe and Wise.

More than 27m people tuned in to watch on Christmas Day 1976, with Angela telling The Daily Mail: "It was such fun to do the Morecambe And Wise Christmas Special," and added: "Even though the two of them were huge stars, they made you feel like you were doing them a huge favour being on their programme."

In the now famous sketch, Angela starts by reading the news, before viewers saw her take to the stage for the routine, which also featured a hilarious Eric Morecambe shouting "Pina!" loudly while making a Pina Colada drink.

She even re-enacted the routine on Strictly Come Dancing in 2011, much to the delight of viewers.

The 71-year-old star also revealed to The Mirror that she keeps fit by regularly exercising and even after all this time, can still do the splits.

Over 56 years since she first joined the BBC in 1966 as part of BBC South West, Angela continues to host BBC programme Rip Off Britain with Gloria Hunniford and Julia Somerville.

Away from our screens, Angela was also married to engineer Christopher Dare from 1967-1989.


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