From Barnsley lad and miner’s son to someone who was recognised and loved worldwide, the grief runs so very deep for our ‘Parky’.

His calm and gentle manner brought out the best in his interviewees, his shows were the backdrop for so many of our lives and still today are terrific entertainment. He was the best at what he did and we, in Yorkshire, are proud that one of ours flew so high.

He was – and remains – an inspiration to people that you don’t have be born in London to make big international dreams come true. If you have grit and determination, nothing will hold you back. And you don’t have to refine your accent either.

Sir Michael was what it said on the tin and people adored him for it: from royalty to A-listers to the ordinary people he met who simply wanted to shake his hand and say hello, he could talk to them all and make them feel special. He was a true understated superstar but at heart he remained that miner’s son and a family man.

We were all very, very, lucky to have had him in our lifetimes.

In 2021 The Yorkshire Society honoured Sir Michael with a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was touched, we know, saying “I am chuffed to be recognised by the hardest judges of character and achievement in the world – my fellow Yorkshire men and women. It’s only taken me 80 odd years to finally impress them!”

Soon after, he accepted our invitation to become a Vice President of The Yorkshire Society and we were (and are) immensely proud to have him involved.

God bless, Parky, and thank you.

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