David Parkin on finding a bit of Yorkshire in London

David Parkin on finding a bit of Yorkshire in London

UNTIL a few months ago I was unaware of the existence of an organisation called the YEWTGH club. It’s like a Yorkshire version of SPECTRE, except a bit more secretive. YEWTGH stands for Yorkshire Exiles Waiting To Go Home and is a dining club for ex-pat Tykes who live and work in London. Previous guests include Geoffrey Boycott, Sir Ian McGeechan and Sir Gary Verity. What I also didn’t know was that the club chairman is entitled to take the name of the Yorkshire-born monarch King Richard III. So when I received an invitation to speak at the club from chairman David Wood, his email was signed: “King Dick”. I have to say I agreed to the invite with some trepidation and explained to members at the dinner at the East India Club last Thursday evening, that I didn’t really know what I was getting into. Given the monicker David uses, I thought perhaps I was being invited to speak to a group of retired Yorkshire-born porn stars. And looking around the room… I told them that I thought I was. They seemed to find that opening remark funny, although one guest pointed at me whilst patting his pinstripe-clad groin and said: “Oi son, less of the retired…” Sitting on St James’s Square close to the In And Out Club and Chatham House, the East India Club groans with history. It was here in 1815, when the building that houses the club was a private house, that Major Henry Percy presented the Prince Regent with four captured French eagle standards and Wellington’s victory despatch from the Battle of Waterloo....
David Parkin on Dr Who, BBC pay, farewell to a cricket icon and putting your best Louboutin forward

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...
David Parkin on how Huddersfield will conquer the world and a royal appointment

David Parkin on how Huddersfield will conquer the world and a royal appointment

  THIS time last week I was hosting the launch of Export Exchange, a new initiative from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the Department for International Trade with funding from the European Union’s Regional Development Fund. The scheme is aimed at bringing together a group of experienced exporters, known as ‘Patrons’ to share their knowledge and experiences with companies from the Leeds City Region who are looking to grow their overseas sales, or those wanting to trade abroad for the first time. Held at the headquarters of Leeds telecoms, data and software business AQL in the former Salem Chapel, the event attracted plenty of media coverage, including being filmed by BBC Look North. The story ran on that evening’s show and the report started by describing the launch as a “glamorous and inspiring” presentation, just as the camera hovered over me addressing the audience. Glamorous and inspiring. Two words that aren’t associated with me nearly enough. Well, never. But they will in future. I’m having some business cards printed with them etched on either side a photo of me. I also plan to add the description: ‘Man About Town’. It covers so many options. Anyway, back to the launch of Export Exchange, which we aimed to make fast moving and engaging, a bit like a magazine-style TV show, with interviews, clips and interaction. The stunning venue certainly helped. It is a restored 18th century chapel in which AQL has created an auditorium above what would have been the nave of the chapel, which has been glassed over and houses its data centre. Fifty launch Patrons have already...