Family and friends release moving tribute to Yorkshire legend Harry Gration in his 'final performance'

The family of Yorkshire legend Harry Gration have paid a moving tribute to the late broadcaster by sharing his ‘final performance’.
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Named ‘There’s Only One Harry Gration – his final performance’, the tribute has been released on YouTube and Spotify as a video and podcast. Introduced by his widow Helen Gration, the audio is taken from a stage show he hosted at York Theatre Royal just two months before he died at the age of 71 in June 2022.

The stage show was called ‘A Grand Yorkshire Night Out’ and the broadcaster co-hosted with his friend Christine Talbot on April 11, 2022. The show was a celebration of the Yorkshire region and Harry offered those in attendance an insight into his 42-year television career with the BBC. Harry’s 19-year-old son Harrison Gration, a baritone and opera singer, was also introduced in the show and received a rousing reception from the York audience.

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Harry’s wife Helen said: ”Only weeks before Harry died, he and 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.

The stage show was called ‘A Grand Yorkshire Night Out’ and the broadcaster co-hosted with his friend Christine Talbot on April 11, 2022. Image: Jonathan GawthorpeThe stage show was called ‘A Grand Yorkshire Night Out’ and the broadcaster co-hosted with his friend Christine Talbot on April 11, 2022. Image: Jonathan Gawthorpe
The stage show was called ‘A Grand Yorkshire Night Out’ and the broadcaster co-hosted with his friend Christine Talbot on April 11, 2022. Image: Jonathan Gawthorpe

"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.”

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The tribute features images taken on the evening, as well as many unseen treasured family photos of Harry. Christine Talbot said: “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 BBC Radio Leeds on Saturday between 9am and 10am. The tribute is now available on YouTube and Spotify.