A poignant and moving tribute to the Yorkshire broadcasting legend Harry Gration has been released this week by his family and close friends.
“There’s Only One Harry Gration – his final performance” is now available on both YouTube and Spotify.
The video and podcast, which is introduced by Harry’s widow Helen Gration, is taken from a stage show which he hosted at his favourite York Theatre Royal just two months before he passed away suddenly last June, aged just 71.
The show, entitled “A Grand Yorkshire Night Out” was co-hosted by Harry’s friend, the ITV presenter Christine Talbot and produced by Roy Player on April 11th 2022. It was a huge celebration of the Yorkshire region with Harry and Christine and their special guests.
On the night, Harry provided a fascinating insight into his amazing 42-year television career with the BBC, primarily as the anchor of BBC Look North. He recalled his incredible experiences, some of the stories he covered and the places he travelled to as well as funny anecdotes about his life.
The show also introduced Harry’s 19-year-old son Harrison Gration, a talented baritone and opera singer, currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music who received a rousing reception from the York audience.
Now Helen, Harrison and their other sons Harvey and Hamilton have joined with Christine and friends Duncan Wood with editor Andy Dobson, to release the highlights from Harry’s performance that night as a video on You Tube and video podcast on Spotify and Anchor FM.
The moving tribute is entitled “There’s Only One Harry Gration – his final performance” The name comes from the chant that would follow Harry everywhere he went in his beloved home region where he was a household name.
The video includes images taken on the evening as well as many unseen treasured family photos of Harry.
Harry’s wife Helen Gration said today: "Only weeks before Harry died, he & our lovely friend, Christine Talbot, presented a show at his favourite place, York Theatre Royal. Amongst some fascinating Yorkshire guests and a proud moment introducing our amazing son and Opera singer, Harrison, Harry chatted with Christine about his incredible career.
In the safe and kind hands of Christine and thanks to producer Roy Player, we now have a recording of that night. Bittersweet though it is for the boys and I, we now know it was Harry’s final performance. We have had some sad and difficult times to navigate ever since the day he died and we are still trying to find a balance with what was and what is. Sometimes that’s workable, sometimes not.
But like some sort of curator, I want to ensure that his children can find his stories and his voice should they need it in the months and years to come. I want especially for our youngest to know how proud we still are of Daddy and for him to share in that.
So whilst I am obviously and totally biased, I hope this recording presents a unique man and special husband and father, Harry Gration, as the exceptional broadcaster he was. I hope you revel in the tales from a man whose governing ethos was always to be your voice, asking questions of those who should answer, or enjoying a life that we should all enjoy (namely cricket of course).
My heartfelt thanks to the friends who made this show and recording possible.”
Christine Talbot said: “When Harry asked me to join him as co-host of the stage show “A Grand Yorkshire Night Out’ I was thrilled. It was a chance to work alongside my good friend of many years but also to present alongside someone who is part of the lives of everyone in Yorkshire with an unrivalled broadcasting career.
“We had great fun planning and producing the show, with Harry’s friend Roy Player and, on the night, Harry was at his absolute best, warm, funny, witty and full of amazing stories about his time at the BBC. He had our audience in York in the palm of his hand.
Although it’s difficult, it’s also lovely and comforting to hear his warm and friendly voice again and I’m so glad that we are now able to share that with everyone who loved him and for whom there will only ever be “One Harry Gration” We hope everyone will enjoy hearing him as much as our audience did that night”
Helen Gration will be speaking to Andrew Edwards on his show at BBC Radio Leeds on Saturday 18th February between 9 and 10 am