HIGH-PROFILE people from across the Bradford district have been quick to send their best wishes to the Telegraph & Argus as it celebrates its 150th anniversary.

And many, including singer-songwriter Gareth Gates and actor Anthony Lewis, revealed how the T&A had played a big part in their lives over the years.

Among those sending his congratulations was Ilkley-born TV presenter and celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh, who said: "Best wishes T&A – long may you reign!"

Meanwhile, Mr Gates spoke of how the paper helped shape his own career, both before and after he became a chart-topping superstar.

Mr Gates said: "The T&A has been great with me. They weren't just there when I became famous. I did a lot around Bradford as a kid. Me and my sister, who is also a singer, were in the T&A a lot, and I was head boy at Bradford Cathedral for a few years, and I was in the paper a lot for all of that.

"It is great, the paper has always been very supportive of me.

"150 years is a fantastic achievement. It is great to still have that local paper that brings the city together as a community.

"It is not tabloid, they are not out to dish the dirt on you, they are out to draw the community together."

"I really have a lot to thank the T&A for."

Horsforth actor Mr Lewis, who starred in the Yorkshire soap Emmerdale and Kay Mellor's drama series The Syndicate among others, said: “The Telegraph & Argus has been a huge part of my life, from the first moments I decided to become an actor through to the present day. Through various news articles and interviews, I have always felt very supported in my endeavours and as a proud Yorkshireman it always feels great to have such a local institution on your side. 150 years in any industry is a huge feat, but to see a beloved local paper achieve that milestone is fantastic and here is to another 150 more years!”

Mickey Dale, keyboard player with Bradford band Embrace, said: "In 1985, aged 17, I left sixth form and joined the T&A as editorial messenger (the errand boy, essentially). The building was very 'old tech' back then; there were less than half a dozen computers in the entire building. All the noise was generated by the hundreds of clunking typewriters and the raised voices of stressed sub editors who had to meet six deadlines each day – yes, the T&A printed six editions!

"The things I remember most are the brilliant characters I had the pleasure of working with, and while there was an intensity and sense of urgency around the whole building, there was also a great deal of laughter in that old gothic building.

"Things happened quickly and by 1988 the place was very 'new tech' with computers and hi-tech machinery everywhere. I still read T&A every day and so do many of my friends and family. Local news is fundamentally different to national news. Community spirit is inherently part of human nature and I love to know what is going on in this beautiful city of ours.

"Long live the Telegraph & Argus. Here's to the next 150 years!"

Keith Madeley, Mr Yorkshire and chairman of The Yorkshire Society, said: “As a Bradfordian and chairman of The Yorkshire Society I wish the Telegraph & Argus many congratulations on its 150th birthday. I have many fond memories of the T&A always ready to report news stories on Bradford’s sons and daughters as they progress through life. A truly remarkable newspaper and one which I can see set for another 150 years as it adapts to the new technologies in the 21st century."

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Zafar Ali, sent a message of congratulations: "I am delighted to add my hearty congratulations to the Telegraph & Argus on your 150th anniversary.

"The T&A has been at the forefront of informing, enlightening and entertaining people in the district since it was established as the Bradford Daily Telegraph in 1868 and has always done so in a forthright, trusted and fearless way."

David Wilson, director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said: "We have had a wide range of exciting film projects in Bradford in recent years and always had fantastic support from the Telegraph & Argus."

Steve Abbott, Bradford-born film producer and chairman of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said: "I love my home city and as a Bantams fan I access the online version of the Telegraph & Argus every morning from my office in London for latest news from home and Valley Parade. I am immensely proud of what Bradford has achieved with its UNESCO status, from education and community projects to the support the Bradford Film Office gives to film and TV productions in the city. The Telegraph & Argus has given us great support with its coverage of all our endeavours.’

Coronation Street actor Liam Bairstow, who plays Alex Warner in Britain's longest running soap and is a resident artist at Bradford-based Mind the Gap – one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies, says: "Growing up in Bradford, I’ve always known about the Telegraph & Argus but never thought I’d be in it one day. When I first got the job on Coronation Street, my friends knew about it before I’d even told them.

"The T&A are very supportive of me!”

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "Huge congratulations to the Telegraph & Argus on celebrating this monumental milestone of 150 years. The T&A has been a major part of reporting some of the biggest news stories over the last century and a half and is much loved by the people of Bradford."

Martyn Bedford, the multiple award-winning author of novels and short stories for adults and young adults and a senior lecturer in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University, said: "My last stint in newspapers before I quit to focus on writing novels was a nine-month spell at the Telegraph & Argus, in 1994-95, when I worked three shifts a week as a casual sub editor. I very much enjoyed my time there. It was – and remains – a good quality evening paper serving a vibrant and wonderfully diverse circulation area. I still live in the Bradford district and get one of the T&A's sister papers, the Ilkley Gazette, every week without fail."

Bradford-born actor and writer Kamal Kaan, who has had his play Breaking Up With Bradford broadcast on Radio 4 and recently toured in The Chef Show, said: “My first memory of the Telegraph & Argus was when I won a competition aged ten to design a paycard for telephone boxes to mark the 100 years of Bradford.

"I came runner-up and one of the prizes was a tour of the Telegraph & Argus. I remember the smell of the freshly printed newspaper and the giant rolls of paper.

“Since then I have always kept connected with the T&A."

Leighton Denny, who honed his talents at his salon in his home city of Bradford before setting off for London and becoming a manicurist to the stars, said: "Wow! Congratulations to the Telegraph & Argus for reaching 150 years old. What a milestone. I hold a special candle for the T&A as they were the first newspaper to ever feature me back on 2nd February 1990 when I was just 15 years old! I had opened my first business, a fancy dress hire shop on Tong Street, and I received a full page feature."