The "utterly heartbroken" daughters of ITV's Tony Morris have paid tribute to their "incredible" dad.

Nat and Becky Morris released a joint statement thanking people for their kindness after their 57-year-old father died at Bury Hospice on Saturday.

The Granada Reports anchor, who lived in Ramsbottom, was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year, but continued to present the evening news until a few weeks ago.

Speaking after his death, Nat and Becky said: "We lost our incredible dad on Saturday morning.

"He was more than a parent, he was also our best friend. We are utterly heartbroken, but so grateful for the time we had with him.

"You all know him as 'the guy off the news' - but we know him as our dad.

"It's no surprise to us that so many of you loved him. What you saw on television every evening was exactly who he was - authentic and honest in everything he did, relentlessly funny, ferociously intelligent, endlessly kind - he lit up every room he walked into.

"We know there will be a lot of people in the North West who are going to miss him - so we know we are not going through this alone.

"He was always so proud to be an adopted northerner."

A special programme dedicated to the "true gentleman" and "on-screen legend" was broadcast during Monday's Granada Reports.

Hosted by his long-standing colleague Lucy Meacock, the show featured friends, co-workers, and montages of Tony's past work to showcase the highlights from his turbulent life.

Ms Meacock started the show by describing her dear friend and his work, before saying she was lucky to have been given the chance to work with him.

She said: "He was the shy, reluctant celebrity with a smile that lit up our lives, and lit up the north west for nearly 20 years.

"The little boy from a tough estate who always wanted to inspire other people of colour to follow his lead.

"He wanted to highlight the important issues but always in a very humble way and always found time for a laugh."

Some of his work included pressing Tony Blair and David Cameron for difficult answers during their times as Prime Minister, covering tragic breaking news stories such as the Manchester Arena attack, and funny studio interview moments – including a chat with Peter Kay in drag.

Despite his renowned career, Tony was most proud of his daughters, with a picture of the pair of them proudly displayed on his desk at work.

Originally from Portsmouth, Tony spent most of his life in the care system, adopted by a woman named Audrey when he was just six months old.

At aged 16, he joined the RAF, and credits his time in service, and being the only black kid on his estate, as major factors that shaped his life.

He went on to join BBC Northwest Tonight as a reporter for the flagship programme based in Manchester, later going on to present shorter bulletins, usually weekend bulletins and the regional bulletin following the BBC News at Ten.

For a brief period in his latter years with the BBC he worked as a reporter for the national news being based in London.

In 2003, Tony joined ITV Granada as the new male co-anchor alongside Lucy Meacock following the departures of Antony Wilson and So Rahman.

He helped Granada Reports become the first regional news programme to win a BAFTA, going on to win two of the prestigious awards, and numerous accolades from the Royal Television Society for his work on stories such as the Morecambe Bay Cockle Picking tragedy, the Manchester Arena bombing, the murder of Anthony Walker, and the murder of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone.

His daughters have asked for donations to Bury Hospice in lieu of flowers, to show their appreciation for the care, kindness, and respect given to their dad during his final days.