Michael Parkinson (1935-2023). A tribute by Laurie Holloway

Pianist/composer Laurie Holloway was a great friend of Michael Parkinson for several decades. He was Musical Director on Parkinson’s BBC show from 1998 until 2004, and then from 2004 to 2007 on ITV. In this personal tribute which we are pleased to publish, Laurie Holloway remembers a friendship which was important, not least for its positive consequences for British music

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Michael Parkinson and Laurie Holloway
Michael Parkinon and Laurie Holloway. Photo from late 1990’s courtesy of Laurie Holloway

Laurie Holloway writes: The first time I met Michael Parkinson, I think, was at my house in Bray, Berkshire. He and his wife Mary lived in Windsor. 

He fell in love with the Fisheries where I live. 

Michael asked me to look out for any property in the Fisheries that came up for sale. I was friendly with a lady who was moving away from the area and I told Michael to get in touch with her. 

The meeting was successful and he moved into Fishery road and became my neighbour. We got along well and we frequented the local hostelries in the village. 

At the time he was president of the anti golf association. 

I convinced him and converted him to join Temple Golf club which was my club. He loved it and he became quite a decent golfer. 

And so it went on. Michael was about to start a series of talk shows and asked me to be his musical director. I unfortunately had to refuse because I was engaged to be the musical director for Engelbert Humperdinck. 

We stayed good friends although I had to turn the offer down. 

Many years later he was going to start another series of the talk show and this time I could be with him and accepted. 
The rest is history.  I was Michael’s musical director for the rest of his talk show career. He was brilliant. 

We continued to be the best of friends.  Never living in each other’s pockets.  Lunching regularly.  I became a patron of the local cricket club due to Michael being the president. I lunched with him shortly before his death.  It was clear that he was not well. 

I will always remember our friendship and I miss him terribly.   RIP my friend.   We will have many more memories together and lunches. 

Laurie Holloway MBE 

Categories: News, Tributes

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