Parky coming home to Yorkshire for top Variety award

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Sir Michael Parkinson will be honoured for his outstanding career in broadcasting at Variety’s Yorkshire Business Awards.

The television host has interviewed many of the leading public figures from the last 50 years, with stellar stars such as Muhammad Ali, George Best and Orson Welles gracing his talk show.

Sir Michael Parkinson

Sir Michael Parkinson

The Yorkshireman’s down-to-earth approach has earned him many accolades, not least a knighthood from the Queen in 2008.

But next month Sir Michael, 79, will be returning to the county of his birth to receive a very special honour.

The star interviewer will find himself under the spotlight when he is presented with the Variety children’s charity lifetime achievement award before an audience of Yorkshire business leaders.

“While Sir Michael Parkinson has achieved fame on a global scale, he has never lost sight of his Yorkshire origins,” said Martin Boyle, partner at executive recruitment firm Howgate Sable, which is headline sponsor of the event alongside The Yorkshire Post.

“In many respects ‘Parky’ has been ahead of his time; without having to resort to the quaint Yorkshire stereotype, he has had the confidence to promote his background as a virtue and in doing so, engendered widespread respect and achieved sustained success.

“The message he sends to the people of Yorkshire is, ‘be positive and confident about where you are from, don’t be chippy about it and meet the world on an equal footing’.”

Chris Kelly, chairman of the Yorkshire Business Awards, said Sir Michael’s talk show Parkinson “was the show that many of us grew up with and he held the nation’s interest each week with his wonderful interviewing style”.

Mr Kelly, who is finance director at Redhall Group, said Sir Michael has “always been a marvellous advert for Yorkshire” and richly deserves the award.

Sir Michael was born and raised in Barnsley and attended the local grammar school before entering journalism as a newspaper reporter.

His big break in television came with Granada in the early 1960s and the rest, as they say, is history as he notched up the big-name interviews and became a well-loved figure in his own right.

The event takes place at The Queens hotel in Leeds on December 12.

Jonny Mitchell, the Dewsbury headteacher who starred in TV show Educating Yorkshire, is the headline speaker.

Christine Talbot, the co-presenter of ITV Yorkshire’s Calendar, will host proceedings.

The annual fundraising lunch has raised more than £3.1m over the last quarter of a century to help disadvantaged and needy children in Yorkshire.

The event co-sponsors are Design Portfolio, DLA Piper, Ernst & Young, Henderson Insurance Brokers, Rothschild, Yorkshire Bank, Yorkshire Building Society and Leeds Beckett University.

To buy tickets, email yorkshire@variety.org.uk or phone 0113 245 9937.