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24 September 2014
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Harry Gration
Harry Gration

Harry returned to Look North in 1999 after a five year break from the programme.
He strongly believes that the viewer must feel at home with the person they invite into their home every night, when they turn on their television.

"But the poor souls get me looking back at them!"

During Harry’s break from this region, he tried out a professional job with a sport he’d followed for years: rugby league..

In 1994, he became their Public Affairs Executive .....and returned to broadcasting soon after. It is, he says, a year he'll always remember!

Down South
BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Match of the Day and Grandstand grabbed him and then followed four years with South Today where this northern boy was taken right into the hearts of those southerners!

Harry has never followed a normal career pattern.

He was a history teacher in Yorkshire, and he used school holidays to do match reports for BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio Humberside.

His natural talent was soon spotted and he took a gamble, giving up the teaching for a three month contract as sports editor of Radio Leeds.

There was no stopping him of course – he became a regular reporter and commentator for the BBC’s Olympic and Commonwealth Games coverage, travelling the world for his profession - most recently at the 2000 Olympics.

Harry has presented Grandstand and Sportsnight, and has won two Royal Television Society Awards for his sports documentaries: White Rose in Africa (1992), and Dickie Bird – A Rare Species (1997).

A favourite place
You’d find me in Scarborough - walking the sands along the North Bay, to be precise.

I love seaside towns - their smells, their look. The North Sea is hardly glamorous but it always has something to offer. It never looks the same. Every season it’s different.

And at the North Bay you can almost forget the noise of the tourist amusements to enjoy it as the Victorians must have done.

But then if I really want to forget noise, Robin Hood's Bay is the place to go, with fish and chips at Whitby forming my tea-time stop-off.

A brisk healthy walk followed by zillions of calories wrapped in newspaper. You can’t beat it.

Harry has been to 7 Olympic Games in his career - 5 Summer, 2 Winter.
The most recent was Athens in 2004 where he covered for the third time Judo,wrestling and Taekwondo. In the Winters his most daunting challenge was to do one and half hours of commentary on Cross Country skiing In Nagano ( Japan) when all the other events had been cancelled. This went out at 2.30am in the Morning

He has covered virtually every sport in his career which also includes the Soccer World Cup, Wimbledon and Open Golf . In the mid 1980's he also presented Grandstand, Sportsnight and even a Grand Prix special as well as occasional Match of the Day's.

In 1997 he won the RTS Sports Documentary for "Dickie Bird - A Rare species" and in 92 Look North captured the regional award for "White Rose in Africa"

Harry openly admits that working alongside Christa and Paul is great fun.

"Working on Look North has got to be my dream job.Yorkshire folk tell it to you straight, in the street, on the phone, to your face! As they say you can tell a Yorkshireman, but not much!"


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