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Michael Fieldhouse Barratt (born 3 January 1928) is an English television presenter and announcer. He is mainly known for his lengthy period as the main presenter on Nationwide.

Early life

Michael Barratt was born in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire.[1] His father was a civil servant. Barratt was educated at Rossall School, an independent boys' school near Fleetwood, Lancashire, and at Paisley Grammar School in Scotland. After leaving school, he became a journalist for Kemsley newspapers, before moving to Nigeria to be editor of the Nigerian Citizen and to work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service.[1] Following his return to the UK, he worked as a production journalist on several English regional newspapers including a period at the Wolverhampton Express & Star.

At the same time, he contributed regularly to the BBC World Service and began a freelance television reporting career, initially on the Midlands regional current affairs magazine Scan.[1]

Broadcasting career

He became a reporter on the BBC current affairs programmes Midlands Today, going on to present Panorama, then 24 Hours.[1] He was a Nationwide presenter from 1969 to 1977.[2] He was also chairman of BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time from 1973 to 1977.[1] He was also a presenter of Thames TV's Reporting London and Chairman of Michael Barratt Limited production company until 1997. He also presented Songs of Praise.[1]

He has appeared, as himself, in both films and television, including the film The Magic Christian and The Goodies. In 1972, he was elected Rector of the University of Aberdeen.[3] He is the author of several books including Michael Barratt's Complete Gardening Guide, Michael Barratt, Making the Most of the Media, and Making the Most of Retirement. In 2013 his autobiography, Mr. Nationwide, was published.[1]

Personal life

He has married twice:
• 1. Joan (3 sons and 3 daughters); marriage dissolved.
• 2. Nationwide presenter Dilys Morgan on 7 August 1977.[1] (2 sons and 1 daughter).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Padman, Tony (2013) "What happened to Nationwide's Michael Barratt?", Daily Express, 21 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013
  2. ^ "Michael Barratt in Conversation", British Film Institute. Retrieved 21 September 2013
  3. ^ "Russell Hunter candidate for rector". The Glasgow Herald. 1 November 1972. p. 7. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
Academic offices Preceded byJo Grimond Rector of the University of Aberdeen 1972–1975 Succeeded byIain Cuthbertson