Michael Barratt, host of BBC's 'Nationwide', dies aged 94

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Michael Barratt presenter on Nationwide. (Shutterstock)
Michael Barratt presenter on Nationwide. (Shutterstock)

Michael Barratt — best remembered as host of BBC current affairs show Nationwide — has died at the age of 94.

The TV presenter and journalist, who also presented Songs of Praise and BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, passed away at the Thames Hospice in Berkshire surrounded by his family.

Son Olly announced on Twitter: "We're very sad to report that our lovely Dad/Husband/Mike/Michael Barratt died this morning. He was 94. 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."

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Barratt was well known for presenting Nationwide, which would attract viewing figures of 10 million, from 1969 to 1977.

After his departure from the BBC One show, which aired on weekday evenings after the news and featured regional as well national items, Nationwide continued to air until 1983, with presenters including Dame Esther Rantzen, Valerie Singleton, Sue Lawley and David Dimbleby.

Barratt was born in Leeds in 1928, and became a newspaper reporter after leaving school before moving into television journalism.

He worked on Panorama before becoming the face of Nationwide and also made cameos in comedy sketch show The Goodies.

Michael Barratt, presenter of BBC1's popular current affairs programme, 'Nationwide'.
Michael Barratt, presenter of BBC current affairs programme Nationwide, pictured in 1970, with rescue-dog Donna. (Getty Images)

TV presenter Lorraine Kelly was among those to pay tribute, writing on Twitter: "Sad to hear of the death of your dad. Class act."

Newsreader Simon McCoy said: Such sad news. The nicest of men who was interested in things going on in the world right up until the end."

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Sherlock and Inside No 9 star Mark Gatiss tweeted: "Very sorry for your loss. A great broadcaster and childhood fixture whose face brings back warm and happy memories. RIP"

And GB News presenter Alastair Stewart said: "Heartfelt. My thoughts are with you and your family....."

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