Television presenter Harry Gration spoke to The Star of his shock yesterday after being named in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Harry, aged 62, a familiar sight to TV viewers across South Yorkshire as the face of BBC local news programme Look North, receives the MBE for services to broadcasting.
“My wife told me on the phone that I had got a letter from the Cabinet Office,” he said. “When I opened it up, I’ve got to admit I did a Dickie Bird and started crying. It was completely unexpected.”
Harry has enjoyed a long career in journalism, starting in local radio before moving to TV to front Look North. He has worked there for 25 years.
He has also hosted the Super League Show and Grandstand as well as providing coverage of the London 2012 Olympics.
He said: “I have got this award because of the people I have worked with.
“I can’t thank them enough.”
n Barnsley-born author Joanne Harris, who penned best-seller Chocolat, will enjoy the sweet taste of success when she collects her MBE.
The 48-year-old mother-of-one is named for services to literature, having written more than 13 books since swapping teaching for full-time fiction in 1989.
But it was Chocolat, published in 1999, which catapulted her to fame when it was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
“It is always nice when writers get acknowledgement,” she said.
“It gets the message across that writing is important.”
n Former Sheffield Hallam University lecturer Dr Susan Horner receives the MBE for literature.
Travel expert Susan wrote her first book, Marketing for Hospitality, in 1996 and has gone on to write a further 10, translated into different languages and sold worldwide. She lived in Sheffield before leaving for Switzerland, and now works in Bournemouth.