Tributes to "Mr TV-am", Mike Morris
We're very sad to report the death of TV-am presenter Mike Morris. Mike passed away on 22nd October 2012. It's reported he died in his sleep after a short illness. Mike really was "Mr TV-am" and was with the station from before its launch to the very end...that's more than ten years. He first worked as a sports reporter/presenter and relief host of "Good Morning Britain", but became main male anchor in 1987. Over the years he covered every type of programme item and had the amazing ability to switch from serious to light stories with great ease. TV-am highlights included conducting the first live TV interview on British TV with Nelson Mandela when he was released from jail in South Africa, presenting the programme on the morning after the Lockerbie Disaster, thousands of celebrity interviews and singing in a Welsh male voice choir with Errol the Hamster on a Roland Rat show. Mike was the final presenter to speak on the very last TV-am programme and joked he was "off to be a passport photographer after turning off the studio lights".
Mike was born in Harrow, Middlesex in June 1947. Educated at St Paul's School, London, he gained a BA in American and English Literature at Manchester University before starting his career in journalism with the Surrey Comet in 1969. He then joined AAP Reuters, a Sydney-based news agency, as bulletins editor. In 1974 he moved to United Newspapers as a sports reporter, then sports editor. Mike joined Thames TV as a sub-editor and reporter in 1979, before joining TV-am in 1983 at its launch as a sports reporter/presenter and then presenter of the Saturday edition of Good Morning Britain. He became anchorman of GMB in 1987. After TV-am, Mike went on to become regular presenter of Yorkshire TV's news magazine programme "Calendar".
Paying tribute on Twitter, former TV-am co-host Lorraine Kelly said: " Very sad news - my old friend Mike Morris who shared a sofa with me on TV-am has died. He was a good man and a very underrated broadcaster. He made it look easy." Also paying tribute, former TV-am star Richard Keys said "Top guy and hugely under-rated. Loved a laugh. I'll miss you buddy. Georgey Spanswick wrote "VERY sad news - worked with him at tv-am in my formative days in the sports department! Him and Richard Keys, some kind of double act indeed." BBC News presenter Simon McCoy said, " Very sad to hear of the death of my former TV-am colleague Mike Morris. A really gentle man whose easy manner was the reason for success."
TV-am star Anne Diamond told BBC News "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."
On behalf of TV-am, journalist Ian White writes: "Mike's contribution to TV-am over ten years was huge and we should never underestimate how dificult working in breakfast television can be. It disrupts family life and turns ordinary journalists into national celebrities. Mike was no ordinary journalist. 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 was extremely popular with viewers and helped the station secure a 75% share of the breakfast TV audience. He was incredibly encouraging to younger members of the team and when he worked at "Calendar" often sent me notes when I began presenting "Look North" offering much enthusiasm for my work and great support. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues."
Thank you for all the messages to the TV-am website already. You can leave a tribute to Mike Morris below.
Published on 23rd October 2012 at 00:01:13 by Ian White