Mike Morris: Former TV-am presenter dies aged 65

Mike Morris Morris was a familiar face to viewers of Yorkshire's Calendar programme

Former TV-am presenter Mike Morris has died aged 65.

He joined ITV's breakfast show when it launched as a sports reporter and presenter and went on to present Good Morning Britain on Saturdays.

He became anchorman of Good Morning Britain in 1987 and presented Yorkshire TV's news magazine programme Calendar until 2002

ITV's Daybreak presenter and former colleague Lorraine Kelly said he will be "very, very, very sadly missed".

"Mike was a delightful man, he was such a generous presenter - he really was brilliant," she said.

"The good thing about him was he didn't make a big fuss or a song and dance, he made it look easy. And I think in some ways he was under-rated because of that."

She added that her many memories of him were of "mostly just laughing".

Morris was born in Harrow, north-west London, in June 1947 and started his journalistic career with the Surrey Comet in 1969.

Mandela interview

He worked for the Reuters news agency, United Newspapers and Thames TV, editing and reporting on both news and sport stories.

After joining TV-am in 1983 as a sports presenter, he quickly moved up the ranks - first hosting the Saturday edition of Good Morning Britain before graduating to the main daily show in 1987.

He interviewed Nelson Mandela eight days after his release from jail in South Africa and presented the programme the morning after the Lockerbie bombing.

His TV-am co-host Anne Diamond said: "I presented many, many memorable breakfast television programmes with Mike and I'd just like to say, as a way of tribute, what a lovely, lovely man he was.

"He was incredibly popular, I think, because he was just like the guy next door.

"It was completely sincere image he had of just being the ordinary bloke next door, who asked the ordinary bloke-type questions.

"That endeared him to a great many people. It certainly did to me.

"He was always a gentleman, he was always generous. He was very, very funny. A real family man and I must say I'm terribly sad to hear he has died."

As the presenter with last words on the final TV-am show in December 1992, Morris joked that he was "off to be a passport photographer after turning off the studio lights".

Writing on behalf of TV-am, journalist Ian White said Morris was "no ordinary journalist" who was "popular with viewers".

"He had the common touch and the ability to pull off every type of interview, often under incredible pressure.

"TV-am's success was partly down to its presenters and in the last five years Mike helped lead that team on and off the air. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues," he said.

Morris is survived by his daughters Sarah and Helen.

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