Sir Michael Parkinson CBE has been announced as patron of the independent regional charity Yorkshire Cancer Research.
The Yorkshire-born broadcaster, affectionately known as ‘Parky’, has agreed to support the Harrogate-based charity following his own experience with prostate cancer.
Sir Michael, 80, was given the all-clear by doctors in summer 2015 following two years of treatment.
Yorkshire Cancer Research recently announced an ambitious new strategy to invest £100m over the next 10 years in patient centred research, after revealing that people living in the region are more likely to get cancer, and more likely to die from it, than people living in most other areas of the country.
Yorkshire has the third worst cancer incidence rates in England, and 11 of 13 local authorities in the county have outcomes below the national average in at least one of the major cancers. The charity’s goal is to ensure that by 2025 at least 2,000 more people in Yorkshire will survive cancer every year.
Sir Michael said:
I’m very proud to be a Yorkshireman, and I was surprised and upset to learn that cancer outcomes in the county are not good as other parts of the UK. Having been diagnosed and treated for cancer myself, I understand how important it is to have access to the very best treatments and care.
I believe that everyone should have an equal chance of living a long and healthy life, so I am delighted to support the work of Yorkshire Cancer Research and help them address these unacceptable inequalities.
Sir Michael, the son of a miner, was born in the village of Cudworth, near Barnsley. He attended Barnsley Grammar School before beginning his career in the media as a reporter at the South Yorkshire Times.
He progressed to the Manchester Guardian, the Daily Express and later, television. He is best known for presenting his long-running talk show, Parkinson, on both the BBC and ITV.
As a young man, Sir Michael played cricket in the Yorkshire League with Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird and had trials for Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Professor Anthony Robards, Chairman of Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:
We’re thrilled that Sir Michael Parkinson has recognised the importance of our work. With his support, we will be able to increase awareness and reach more people. His endorsement will also help us make Yorkshire a beacon region for research initiatives that will have a real benefit to people right across Yorkshire.