TV legend Bob Warman shocked and grateful at honour for broadcasting career

A legend of broadcasting today spoke of the privilege and honour of being awarded Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Bob Warman has been awarded an MBE for services to journalism and broadcasting
Bob Warman has been awarded an MBE for services to journalism and broadcasting

Bob Warman has been awarded an MBE for services to broadcasting and journalism in the West Midlands after a stellar career lasting nearly 50 years.

The 75-year-old is one of the longest standing television presenters in the world, having presented ITV Central News for 49 years. He will retire in July.

He is a long-standing patron of Acorns Hospice and a founding member of the committee which established the Princess Royal Trust for carers in the Midlands.

He said he was extremely grateful to be awarded the MBE for something he said he never felt was a proper job.

He said: "I'm very honoured to receive this award and more than a little grateful to the people who added their names to my nomination, which I was shocked to find out about in the first place.

"Being a broadcaster for as many years as I have, it has brought me into contact with a lot of people and things I've been able to do and been pleased to do if it can help the charities, so it's been a privilege."

Mr Warman started as a local newspaper reporter with the Walsall Observer and the Birmingham Post and Mail in the 1960s, then started broadcasting as a radio journalist on Radio Birmingham before joining Central's predecessor ATV in 1973.

He has covered every type of story from the Birmingham pub bombings and closure of the world famous Longbridge car works to fronting up charity marathons.

His achievements include being awarded the Baird Medal, The Royal Television Society’s highest honour in recognition of “his outstanding contribution to the Midlands television community”.

He is also President of the Birmingham Press Club, a Life Vice President of the Journalists’ Charity and is also a patron of Acorns Children’s Hospice.

He said that the MBE was something that recognised not just the work he did, but also the work of everyone he had worked with over the years.

He said: "For me, this honour recognises not just the work of all my television colleagues and those in the wider press, but also those I've supported through the Birmingham Press Club, Acorns and the other charities I've worked with.

"It's also a lovely acknowledgement of my time in the business as I can't pretend it's been hard work because I have enjoyed every single minute of it and it's been an honour to do something I've enjoyed very much.

"It's never been what I call a proper job, but has been a very enjoyable working life, with this being the icing on the cake, to be honoured for something which I've enjoyed doing so much."

Graham 'George' Watkins

Meanwhile, the Head Coach of Mid Shropshire Wheelers says receiving a Queen's Birthday honour is fantastic news for his cycling club as a whole as it looks to regrow after the pandemic.

Graham Watkins, known as George, has received a BEM for services to cycling in Shropshire.

"It was a real surprise," he said. "It's really good for the club and the sport as a whole.

"This is for all the volunteers who have been at the club over the years. I am just representing them really."

He hopes the award will help raise the profile of the sport in the county once again after the challenges of the pandemic.

"It's been a slow return to what life was before," he admitted. "We are putting events back on now but there's not been quite the uptake there was pre-pandemic.

"A lot of sports, at grassroots level, are struggling with less volunteers and riders taking part. If we can get the sport back to where it was, that would be great.

"Hopefully people will get back involved in the sport again, even if it not by racing, we'd love them to come down and watch again."

Graham has been volunteering with the club for 30 years and said: "It's very rewarding, not just in terms of the sport but life.

"I spent 40 years working for British Gas and, some Thursday evenings, I felt tired but I'd still go down to the club, get fresh air and it would clear your head.

"It's just great going down and meeting people of all ages from six to 66. Our club even has a 95-year-old who still rides 45 miles per week! It reaches all ages.

"It's been great being back out there since lockdown and getting that conversation again. We just need more people back on the bikes now."

You can find out more about the club at

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