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”.
“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,” she said.
“I am so very, very sad and my heart goes out to his daughters Nat and Becky.”
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.”
‘Brilliant presenter and journalist’
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,
They achieved the feat again in 2013, for their reporting of the Independent Panel into the Hillsborough Disaster.
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. We are utterly heartbroken, but so grateful for the time we had with him.
“We will be offline with family for a while, but so appreciative of the lovely messages.”
Known for his big, booming laugh, Morris shared on-air jokes with the likes of northern comic idols Peter Kay and Vic Reeves.
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.