Nationwide presenter Michael Barratt dies aged 94
Michael Barratt was best known for fronting Nationwide for almost a decade.
Michael Barratt, the former host of current affairs programme Nationwide, has died aged 94.
Barratt’s family announced his death on social media last night (10th July), writing: "We’re very sad to report that our lovely dad/husband/Mike/Michael Barratt died this morning."
They continued: "He spent his final days being cared for at the wonderful Thames Hospice in Berkshire, surrounded by his family.
"A life lived to the full."
Barratt was best known as the face of Nationwide between 1969 and 1977.
The current affairs show often attracted an audience of more than 10 million viewers and continued until 1983.
As well as Barratt, other Nationwide presenters have included Bob Langley, Esther Rantzen, Sue Cook and Martin Young.
Before fronting Nationwide, Barratt featured as a BBC presenter on Midlands Today, Panorama and 24 Hours.
The TV presenter also entertained listeners on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time from 1973 to 1977, presented Songs of Praise and was the author of several books.
Tributes have been flooding in on social media for Barratt following the tragic news of his passing.
ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly said of Barratt: "Sad to hear of the death of your dad. Class act."
Broadcaster Simon McCoy shared a message of condolence, writing on Twitter: "Such sad news. The nicest of men who was interested in things going on in the world right up until the end."
BBC News journalist Steve Rosenberg also paid tribute on social media, citing Barratt as the reason he became interested in news and current affairs.
He wrote: "When I was a kid It was BBC TV’s Nationwide that got me interested in news & current affairs. So sad to hear that its long-time presenter Michael Barratt has died. He was 94. Here’s my musical tribute to an unflappable & engaging anchor."
Fans also paid tribute to Barratt, with one sharing: "RIP Michael Barratt, journalist and broadcaster, gravelly voiced presenter of Nationwide, and not averse to sending himself up in the likes of The Goodies, Smashie & Nicey, and The Magic Christian."
Another added: "If you'd asked me at the age of five who my favourite television presenter was, without hesitation I would have said Michael Barratt. His gravelly yet warm tones live in my head in much the same way as Oliver Postgate's or Brian Cant's."