Emotional tributes paid to Tony Morris, the man whose ‘smile lit up the North West’
Such sad news.
Tony Morris, the face of North West News for Granada Reports, sadly died at the age of 57 last weekend.
Tributes have been paid across many news outlets this morning, including from Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on this morning’s Good Morning Britain.
Speaking on Tony’s death over a montage of his best moments from the 17 years he worked at Granada Reports, Kate described him as ‘warm and brilliant’.
He died on Saturday at Bury Hospital with daughters Natalia and Rebecca at his side, after being diagnosed with kidney cancer last year.
His daughters released a statement that read: “You all know him as ‘the guy off the news’ – but we know him as our dad. He was always so proud to be an adopted northerner.”
They added: “What you saw on TV every evening was exactly who he was – authentic and honest in everything he did, relentlessly funny, ferociously intelligent, endlessly kind – he lit up every room he walked into.
“We know there will be a lot of people in the North West who are going to miss him – so we know we are not going through this alone.”
During last nights Granada Reports, Tony’s presenting partner Lucy Meacock spoke to viewers about her loss.
She said: “Tony was one of the most, one of the kindest, funniest people that you could ever meet – he was always interested in other people, he was interested in our guests who would come into the studio, he had a genuine interest.”
“And it was a very special bond that we had, we knew each other very well and I think it was a great partnership,” she added, tearing up as a picture appeared on screen of Tony.
She said: “He was without doubt one of the most humble, kind and funny people I have ever met, and he would often make me laugh until my sides ached.
“A smile from Tony Morris always brightened everyone’s day and certainly brightened up the whole of the North West for 17 years.”
Lucy continued: “I am so very, very sad and my heart goes out to his daughters Nat and Becky.”
Many viewers, who have watched Tony almost every night for nearly two decades, shared their condolences and thoughts on Twitter after the sad news.
One said: “Will miss his humour, he was the reason to watch local news. RIP Tony.”
Another wrote: “Awful news. Regional presenters do have such an important part in so many peoples’ lives – many people will have had their tea with Lucy and Tony for years. Will be much missed by those who knew him and those who didn’t. RIP Tony.”
One viewer added they hope he will meet Dianne Oxberry saying: “He will be sorely missed and I hope he meets up with Dianne Oxberry. Two special Manc people. RIP.”
His friend and sports reporter Chris Hall shared a touching poem on social media. It reads: “TM had his trademarks. The smile. The scowl. The sparks in his quick remarks making us howl with laughter. His mic now faded forever. Nothing comes after. Not even the weather.
“Our Tone used his own to marvel us, move us and manoeuvre us around our armchairs.
“Hairs on end as we sat on the edge for the heavier stuff. Then quirky and off-the-cuff candour cajoled us back into cushions.
“He always knew how to push our buttons. Always ‘on it’. No stumbles.
“So much he taught us – not always aloud – and that knowledge lives on through his daughters who make him so proud.”
Annabel Tiffin from BBC North West Tonight’s sent her love and sympathy to Natalia Morris saying: “I am so sorry to hear about Tony.
“We may have been on opposite channels but I always had the utmost respect for him, and we would always have a wee chat whenever we crossed paths on a story.
“Sending you much love and sympathy.”
Sophie Raworth added: “He was always lovely and always smiling. I was delighted to see him again in February this year at the RTS Awards.
“Had no idea he was ill. So so sad to find out he has gone.”
Police appeal for witnesses after woman killed in Greater Manchester crash
The incident has left many in shock in the Bromley Cross area
Police have made an appeal for witnesses after a woman was killed in a major crash in Greater Manchester.
The three-car smash happened in Bromley Cross, Bolton on Thursday March 30th just before 11.50am.
Greater Manchester Police officers are now asking to speak to anyone who witnessed the accident on Darwen Road which left one woman dead and a man and a woman hospitalised with serious injuries.
The force are appealing for any dashcam, CCTV and doorbell footage to be submitted.
Sergeant Phillip Collingwood of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “This was an extremely tragic incident in which someone has lost their life and two others have sustained serious injuries.
“Our thoughts remain with the families affected who are being supported by specialist officers.
“No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing. If you can help, then please contact our Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741, quoting incident 1304 of 30/03/2023.”
As reported in The Bolton News, since the crash, tributes have been paid to the woman who tragically lost her life yesterday afternoon.
The incident saw Darwen Road shut for hours while police, paramedics and ambulance helicopters were in attendance at the scene.
Two cars were seen heavily damaged following the crash as Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service worked swiftly to cut people out of the vehicles.
The incident has left many in shock in the Bromley Cross area.
Information can also be reported online at www.gmp.police.uk. Alternatively, details can be passed via 101 or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Paul O’Grady’s husband shares last photo they took together
‘Unbeknownst to us back in January this would be our last ever holiday together’
Paul O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio has spoken out and shared the last photo the couple took together.
Producer Portasio confirmed the death of his partner O’Grady earlier this week. The national treasure died ‘unexpectedly but peacefully’ on Tuesday evening aged 67. Portasio has shared a photograph of the two of them enjoying a holiday together as he revealed it was the last ever picture they shared together.
He thanked well-wishers and said he’s been ‘touched’ by all their support. In a post shared to his Instagram page on Thursday, Portasio wrote: “In time I hope to write to everyone individually and thank you for all posts, messages, phone calls, emails, cards and flowers of support.
“I much appreciate you all taking the time to reach out. I’m so very touched and I’m sure Paul would be too! Browsing for a picture I found the last picture we ever took together. “Unbeknownst to us back in January this would be our last ever holiday together.”
Alongside the caption he posted a picture of the pair sat on a boat together smiling in the sunshine. The couple married in 2017.
Addressing his husband’s death earlier this week, Portasio said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.
“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.”
Hours earlier, O’Grady’s close friend Linda Thorson revealed the star died in his own bed with his husband by his side.
ITV has confirmed they will go ahead, as originally planned, and air O’Grady’s new series of For The Love of Dogs next month. The 11th series of the popular show was filmed late last year at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and will begin on Thursday 13th April at 8:30pm on ITV1.
Man who discovered James Bulger’s body dies in custody
He discovered the toddler’s body when he was just 14-years-old
The man who discovered the body of James Bulger has died in police custody.
James Riley, 44, discovered the toddler’s lifeless body when he was a teenager. He was with his brother Terrence Riley on a railway line in Liverpool in 1993 when they came across the horrific discovery —he was just 14 at the time, The Liverpool Echo reports.
Mr Riley was taken into custody at St Anne Street Police Station in Liverpool at around 9.45pm on March 14th 2023. He stayed the night in a cell but at around 5pm the next day, police staff found him lying on the floor needing medical attention.
They called for an emergency ambulance but when at the hospital, Mr Riley was confirmed dead. Mr Riley had a string of over 40 convictions for a range of offences.
His family say this was a result of trauma caused by his discovery of James’ body. Two-year-old James was abducted by two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who tortured and murdered him in a crime that shook the UK.
In February 1993, grainy CCTV images showed James being led out of Bootle’s Strand Shopping Centre by the schoolboys. They led him to the disused Walton & Anfield railway station, near Walton Lane police station, where they committed the horrific act.
In May 2017, James Riley was sentenced to two years and four months behind bars after admitting a spate of commercial burglaries.
Sarah Holt, defending him in that case, said: “He has been a drug addict for a considerable period of time – all his adult life and in fact, most of his adolescence.
“His problems can be traced back to when he was 14, when he experienced a very traumatic event. It was an event I suggest that meant he is suffering from PTSD, though not diagnosed. He never sought counselling, he tells me.
“That led him at 14 to try crack cocaine and his problems really spiralled from thereon in.”
In 2021 Mr Riley was found dumped in a street wearing just his underwear and holding a knife after a gang sought money for a debt he owed.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court previously heard that what he encountered in 1993 left a lasting impact on his life. The court heard how Riley suffered with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of finding James’ body.
The Independent Office for Police Custody (IOPC) is now investigating Riley’s death. IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said: “This was a tragic incident in which a man has sadly died and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
“Merseyside Police referred this matter to us, and as he was in the custody of police at the time he became unwell, it is important there is a thorough and independent investigation.
“We will examine all relevant matters including the interaction officers had with the man on the street, and what happened after he arrived at the custody suite. We have made contact with his family to explain our role and will update them as our enquiries progress.”
Merseyside Police said previously officers are fully cooperating with the IOPC. A spokesperson for the force said: “We are aware that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating the death of a 44-year-old man in police custody in Liverpool on Wednesday, March 15th.
“The force’s Professional Standards Department mandatorily referred the matter to the IOPC following the sad news that the man had passed away and we are fully cooperating with their investigation team. His next of kin have been informed and Merseyside Police would like to offer its condolences to the family for their loss.”