School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology 01.10.22

Honorary degree for the late Tony Morris

Tony Morris, who presented Granada Reports on ITV for over 17 years is to receive an Honorary Degree for his ‘Outstanding contribution in the field of Visual, Musical and other Arts’.

A familiar face in many living rooms across the North West and known for his trademark huge laugh, he was known for asking the most powerful of people the no-nonsense questions that viewers were craving for at home.

Tony was instrumental in helping ITV Granada Reports become the first regional news programme to win a BAFTA, co-presenting with Lucy Meacock who is now the University’s seventh Chancellor, for its coverage on the Morecambe Bay Cockle Picking tragedy in 2007.

Despite being born in Portsmouth, Tony was an adopted northerner along with his daughter Natalie who now works as a freelance journalist and is a University of Salford Master of Art graduate.

Tony was supportive of the University's journalism students throughout his time at Granada, and particularly since the move to MediaCity. Jahmal Williams Thomas, Granada camera operator and University of Salford graduate, described him to The Guardian as “an inspiration to black and BAME students and young people across the North West”.

Co-presenter, friend and Chancellor of the University, Lucy Meacock said: “Tony Morris was an absolutely outstanding journalist. He had so many wonderful skills - but perhaps one of the most valuable was his ability to listen and immediately and quietly come up with the perfect question. He was never there to show off. An interview was never about him or showing off to other journalists. He genuinely cared about the people he met - and especially the people who'd had a struggle in life.

“Without doubt he was one of the best journalists I have ever met - and I have met many thousands over the years. After he died the outpouring of love for Tony from our viewers was completely overwhelming - all the more moving because he was always such a humble man.

“Everyone who met him has a lovely story to tell about him. He was always truly authentic. I am not sure fame sat very happily on his shoulders. He wasn't even that keen on having his picture taken. But he was the one of the most genuine, kind and funny people I have ever met - and that simply shone through the TV screen!”

Tony’s family will be presented with his Honorary degree on Tuesday 13 July at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.