David Parkin on Dr Who, BBC pay, farewell to a cricket icon and putting your best Louboutin forward

FORGIVE me for not being bothered about the two biggest stories that have obsessed the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media this week.

The Beeb threw all its resources at both the announcement of the new Dr Who and the publishing of a list of its 96 best paid broadcasters and actors.

While it promoted the new Dr Who with chutzpah, it also embraced the negatives with plenty of navel gazing and hand-wringing about the pay list.

Nobody does self flagellation better than the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The pay list highlighted a gender pay divide at the Corporation with female broadcasters paid significantly less than their male counterparts.

I suppose it means the new series of Dr Who will cost less to make.

Sorry missus, I only said it to raise a titter.

Leave it.

The obsession of the Press – and in the case of papers like the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, unconcealed contempt – with our national broadcaster ensured that every front page on Thursday morning was dominated by reporting of the BBC top earners list.

That was a boon for the Government, which took the opportunity late on Wednesday afternoon to announce news that the pension age for those currently aged between 39 and 47 is being put back a year to 68.

That’s an age bracket I’m currently in so I might be looking for a paper round when I’m 67…if newspapers are still around then.

I really can’t get very exercised by BBC high earners.

What the news did highlight is that grand inquisitors like John Humphreys, Jeremy Vine and Eddie Mair are a lot better at asking questions than answering them.

I don’t watch Dr Who so it doesn’t really bother me who will be the next occupant of the Tardis.

I’ve always thought of Dr Who as a rather sexless character – none of them have got their oats in the past as far as I’m aware – so the fact that the new Doctor is a woman shouldn’t really matter, but it seems a sensible, modern move.

What is more interesting is that the 13th Dr Who will be Jodie Whittaker, an actress who is from Huddersfield.

So David Wagner’s newly promoted team don’t just have X Men and Star Trek star Sir Patrick Stewart as a fan, but the new Dr Who and Game of Thrones star Lena Headey, who grew up in Shelley, near Huddersfield.

With that kind of backing you’d have to favour Huddersfield Town to survive in the Premier League wouldn’t you?


I MENTIONED my trip to the Great Yorkshire Show last week and one person I chatted to at the Welcome to Yorkshire BBQ was Nic Marshall, a larger than life entrepreneur, who along with his wife Gill, runs fast-growing Hull-based call centre business ResQ which is a member of the Y30 business members group of the tourism organisation.

After Sir Gary Verity introduced us to the Row 4 Victory team of oarsmen, Nic and I got chatting to three of the crew who will next year take on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to row across the ocean in a record time.

The lads, who include three serving in the armed forces, will raise money for the British Legion and are currently looking for sponsorship.

Nic said he thought they wouldn’t fancy his company logo emblazoned on their boat, given his business is called ResQ.

Not a bit of it, and the upshot is that the chat with the Row 4 Victory boys in the Welcome to Yorkshire bar cost Nic 15 grand.

“I agreed to sponsor their vessel,” he informed me with not a shred of chagrin, “the fact the boat would be emblazoned with “ResQ” appealed to my sense of humour…”


I ONLY tend to use WhatsApp when I’m included on a group conversation to organise a night out, such as a cultural tour of Pontefract or other mind-broadening experiences.

So when a message popped up from Yorkshire and England cricketing great Ryan Sidebottom, I paid attention.

The curly-haired swing bowler is in his final season with Yorkshire and also is busy with events for his testimonial year too.

Ryan wondered whether I would give his retirement testimonial dinner a mention in the blog.

Well you can’t say no to an icon, can you?

At the end of this county season Ryan will call time on his 20 year career as a professional cricketer, a career which has spanned three decades and seen him break records for his country and county.

​Playing a pivotal role in England winning the T20 World Cup in 2010, Ryan is the only player in the recent history of the game to win five county championships.

​The Ryan Sidebottom Testimonial Celebration Gala Dinner is being held on Thursday, August 31 at the Centenary Pavilion at Leeds United and is being hosted by England’s flamboyant former player Graeme Swann with plenty of special guests appearances from celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment.

To book a table contact admin@ryansidebottom.co.uk or visit www.ryansidebottom.co.uk


IT was off for a first trip of the year to York Racecourse last Friday as a guest of Yorkshire Bank.

Andy Davidson and his colleagues were very good company and didn’t give me a hard time about my bank account once.

The failure to pick a winner was the one disappointment of a good day out in which I bumped into a few familiar faces while sipping my pint of Guinness (after floating on the stock market, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank is far too prudent to lavish champagne on guests like me).

I successfully avoided a close encounter with 35 Leeds United fans who were on their annual trip to the races and instead chatted to Tania Jones, the finance director of Elland business Decorative Panels.

Tania is not your typical finance director given her love of Jimmy Choo shoes and very large Chloe sunglasses.

In fact her sunglasses were so big I could almost understand one racegoer’s observation that she looked like Biggles.

Come to think of it, I do know one FD who swears by Louboutins on their day off.

And to be fair they suit him.

Have a great weekend.


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