MIDLANDS broadcasting icon Bob Warman signed off for the final time after nearly 50 years on screen.
The ITV News Central presenter hosted his final programme last night (Monday), bringing the curtain down on a career which began in 1973.
Bob, who lives in Worcestershire, is one of ITV’s longest-serving news anchors and has presented regional news in Central since 1973.
He joined in the days of the then ATV in April 1973 – the same year which saw the end of the American war in Vietnam and when Britain joined the Common Market.
Since then, Bob has covered every single kind of story – from the Birmingham pub bombings to the closure of the world-famous Longbridge car works – as well as fronting up charity marathons.
Bob originally joined ATV as a reporter before moving to Yorkshire Television in 1976, when he was chosen to front the regional programme for ITV News Calendar with the late Richard Whiteley.
The following year, Bob co-presented the very first breakfast television programme, a three-month pilot which led to the establishment of TV-AM.
But Bob, who was born in Walsall, returned to ATV in 1978 to present the evening programme. He has been a nightly feature ever since.
“I’ve been so lucky to be in a job which is more a paid hobby, never having to face the Monday morning blues and welcoming every day with a varied agenda,” he said.
“And I’ve been very fortunate to be in the company of talented colleagues.
“Television is a collaborative business where we each rely on the other – directors, producers, editors, presenters, reporters, camera persons, sound and lighting engineers and graphic designers.
“All of them have an important role in crafting the best possible programme day in, day out.
“I’m very grateful to ITV for giving me the role of presenter and my thanks go to our loyal audience.
Bob, who was named as one of the 100 ‘Great Brummies’ during Birmingham’s Centenary as a city, attended preparatory school in Shrewsbury.
He was a contemporary of BBC Midlands presenter Nick Owen, before getting his journalistic start on his local newspaper the Walsall Observer when the editor gave him three weeks to ‘see whether we like you and you like us’.
Bob went on to land achievements including being a recipient of the Baird Medal, The Royal Television Society’s highest honour, in recognition of ‘his outstanding contribution to the Midlands television community’.
In June, it was announced that Bob was to be awarded an MBE for his services to broadcasting as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
He is the president of the Birmingham Press Club and a life vice-president of the Journalists’ Charity. He is also a patron of Acorns Children’s Hospice.
He is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University.