May 27, 2015

Sir MICHAEL PARKINSON CBE will be honoured with an award for his Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing at this year’s CROSS British Sports Book Awards it has been announced. The legendary writer, journalist and broadcaster, now 80, will be presented with the award during a star-studded evening being held at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday 3rd June.

As a teenager Michael Parkinson opened the batting at Barnsley Cricket Club with Dickie Bird and was selected ahead of Geoffrey Boycott in the Barnsley team. But, instead of a career in cricket he moved into journalism and left the county of his birth.

His early exploits took him to the Manchester Guardian and then the Daily Express and the Sunday Times in London. He later wrote a long-standing and widely-read sports column for the Daily Telegraph, but it is for his television interviews that he is perhaps best known. During a 40-year career he interviewed over 2000 celebrities, including Muhammad Ali on four occasions, regretting only that he had missed Frank Sinatra and Sir Donald Bradman.

Michael Parkinson has been President of the Sports Journalists’ Association since 2005. He was awarded a CBE in 2000 and knighted by the Queen in 2008.

David Willis, Chairman of the CROSS British Sports Book Awards, said, ‘While television has made Sir Michael Parkinson a household name, it is his enormous contribution to sports writing and sports journalism to which we pay tribute at the 2015 Awards. We are delighted to be presenting him with this award. A good sport in every sense of the word.’

In all there will be 13 prizes awarded on the night including Autobiography of the Year, Biography of the Year, Outstanding Sports Writing, and individual sport awards in Rugby, Football, Horse Racing and Cricket, as well as Cycling. The evening is being filmed for broadcast as a one hour Highlights Programme on Sky Sports.

Among the celebrities attending the awards, which will be hosted by Jonathan Agnew, are Gareth Thomas, Nicole Cooke, Brian Moore, Tony Adams, Andrew Strauss, Gaby and Kenny Logan, and Will Greenwood.