Tony Wilson is quitting his job as a Granada Television news presenter in Manchester to concentrate on campaigning for a North West regional assembly, writes Wale Azeez.
Wilson, who also founded Factory Records, returned to the regional news programme Granada Reports 18 months ago after break of 13 years. But he has decided to leave again after last month’s announcement by the Government of plans for a referendum on devolution in the autumn.
He fronted the programme in the Seventies and Eighties after working on flagship documentary series World In Action following a traineeship at ITN. On his most recent stint he co-presented with Lucy Meacock. A long-standing campaigner for self-government in the North West, Wilson is a founder member of the Necessary Group, a regional devolution lobby organisation. He described himself as “still a Granada boy through and through” and said he looked forward to working on more programmes with the company in the future.
“It has been fantastic being back on the evening news show for the last 18 months. To have the chance to work with Lucy again has been a real joy.
“However, I am committed to regional devolution and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of getting regional government for the North West is something I have to devote myself to. It would be impossible to combine this commitment with my role on Granada Reports.”
Wilson will make his final appearance as Granada Reports anchor in August.
Kieron Collins, Granada Television’s controller of programmes, said the broadcaster was already talking to Wilson about a number of other presenting opportunities.