The TV presenter Michael Barratt, best known for his work on BBC’s Nationwide, has died aged 94, his family have announced.
A statement released on Sunday by Barratt’s son Olly read: “We’re very sad to report that our lovely dad/husband/Mike/Michael Barratt died this morning.
“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, who was born in Leeds in 1928, was a Nationwide presenter from 1969 to 1977. The current affairs program often attracted an audience of more than 10 million viewers and ran until 1983, hosted after Barratt’s departure by the likes of Esther Rantzen, Valerie Singleton, Sue Lawley and David Dimbleby. The long-running Watchdog program began life as a feature on Nationwide.
Among those to pay tribute to Barratt was the broadcaster Simon McCoy. I have wrote on Twitter: “Such sad news. The nicest of men who was interested in things going on in the world right up until the end.”
Another Twitter user said: “A voice of my childhood who somehow made the news interesting to a young child of 7 or 8. Nationwide was a brilliant program brilliantly presented.”
Referring to Barratt’s appearance as himself in several films and TV series, a third posted: “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.”
Prior to his time on Nationwide, Barratt was a reporter on the BBC current affairs program Midlands Today. He went on to present Panorama and 24 Hours.
He also chaired Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time from 1973 to 1977 and presented Thames TV’s Reporting London and Songs of Praise, as well as writing several books.