My Places

North East Tonight presenter Jonathan Morrell speaks to The Journal on his My Place.

North East Tonight presenter Jonathan Morrell speaks to The Journal on his My Place.

TV and radio presenter Jonathan, 37, moved into the mighty shoes of Mike Neville last year when he took over presenting ITV's North East Tonight.

Jonathan, who lives with his partner in Whickham, Gateshead, was born in Yorkshire.

He moved to the North-East to study in 1988 - and was to remain.

His first job on graduation was at the BBC in Barrack Road, Newcastle, where he trained to be a broadcast journalist.

Jonathan went on to join ITV Tyne Tees in 1996 as a production journalist before going freelance in 2001 and working as a presenter at Yorkshire TV, Sky News and ITN.

Jonathan is now the anchorman of the Northern (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham) edition of North East Tonight on Tyne Tees TV's news programme. He is also the morning presenter on Century FM from 10am.

Where do you live?


How long have you lived there?

On and off for 12 years, apart from nine months in York.

What's your dream home?

My dream homes (if I'm allowed two) would be a cottage at Bamburgh in Northumberland. I spent a weekend there a year ago and despite poor weather we had a real laugh! The other would be a place in France somewhere near Cognac and La Rochelle. It's a beautiful part of the country where I've spent quite a few holidays.

How do you get around (walk, car, public transport, private jet)?

I drive quite a bit to work at ITV Tyne Tees and Century FM but I do try if possible to use the bus. I really like it as I can read the paper and listen to music without worrying about the drive.

What is your favourite part of the North-East?

Whickham! It's still called "The Village" by people who live there despite the fact that it's now joined up to the rest of the urban sprawl of Tyneside. However, it's still got a pretty centre with some great pubs. The park is close to where we live and only a mile or so up the road there's open countryside.

What is your favourite building in the region?

The cathedral in Durham for its peacefulness, splendour and the history of the building. I'm also amazed that even on a winter's day you can visit the cathedral and find tourists from all over the world.

What is the best holiday you've ever had?

Iceland! Reykjavik was a fascinating city. It was fairly small but had some magnificent buildings, such as the impressive Halgrimskirkja, which is a recently-built church. We went to the Blue Lagoon where you can bathe in water heated by volcanic rock. The highlight was riding on a snow mobile on a glacier, the experience was amazing.

What's the favourite thing in your home?

Our conservatory which we had built at the end of last year. Everyone said we'd love it and would spend hours in there and they are right! The cat loves it too, being 16, on a warm day, it helps to warm his creaky bones through.

What are you working on at the moment?

I've just finished a documentary on the Red Kites which went out in March. I worked with producer Steve Robins and went out to see these magnificent birds before and during their release into the wild in Gateshead.

Who or what is the love of your life?

The radio - I was fascinated by it as a kid and when I finally got the chance to work on it at BBC Newcastle, it was a dream come true. I really love my two jobs but there's something very special and intimate about the presenter listener relationship on the radio. To have come back to it after 10 years is wonderful.

Where is your favourite place in the North-East?

Home. I don't spend too much time there during the week, so when I am there, it's bliss!

What is your favourite shop?

Ka De We in Berlin. The top floor contains the best food hall and so many different places to eat from an oyster bar to oriental food.

What is your favourite restaurant?

The Jamdani in Whickham. I guess I could have said some of the best known restaurants in Newcastle but the guys running the Jamdani (an Indian restaurant) have consistently produced good food and excellent service for the 10 years we've been going there.

Where is your favourite pub?

The Crown Posada on the Quayside. There's nothing better on a cold winter's afternoon at the weekend than a pint or three in this old corner of Newcastle. Nothing much has changed in here and they've even a Dansette record player with LPs playing old tunes.

Do you have a favourite meal?

No, anything as long as it's well-cooked and presented.

Are you any good at cooking?

No. I leave that to the other half!

What do you do to relax?

I lie in the bath and listen to the radio. It tends to be the Legends on Century or sometimes The Archers on Radio 4.

What's the last play or film you saw?

The Queen.

What book are you reading at the moment?

George Galloway's I'm not the only one but I'm not too far into it yet.

What are you listening to on your I-pod/CD player at the moment?

Anything and everything. I really like Madeleine Peyroux because she sounds like Ella Fitzgerald and love The Killers' new single Read my mind - an odd mix.

What is your favourite TV programme?

North East Tonight of course! And I really love Harry Hill's TV Burp. He's very funny and takes the mickey out of everything on the box.

When and where were you happiest?

Now. I live in a lovely house, have two brilliant jobs and a fantastic other half.

Do you have any wisdom to share?

Don't worry about things you can't change.

What does the future hold?

Happiness I hope and a chance to carry on with what I am doing now for as long as I enjoy it.


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