One of the UK’s best loved TV chat show hosts, Sir Michael Parkinson, returned home to his roots (Friday 12 December) to accept a Variety the Children’s Charity, Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Yorkshire Business Awards (YBA) which were held at the Queens Hotel, Leeds and raised more than £141,000 to support disabled and disadvantaged children.

Over 400 members of the business community attended this year’s awards which were compėred by Christine Talbot, a familiar face on Yorkshire TV, as one of the main presenters of ITV News Calendar programme.

Keynote speaker at the event was Jonny Mitchell, Headteacher of Thornhill Community Academy who appeared in the award winning Channel 4 series ‘Educating Yorkshire’. The audience were also entertained by comedian Martin Gold who, over the years, has appeared on many TV shows including the ‘New Comedians’ and ‘Summertime Special’.

Ripon based, Econ Engineering (manufacturers of salt spreaders including grit tippers and snowploughs) was named as winner of the SME of the Year award. Board of the Year went to Harrogate-based VP plc a specialist rental business providing products and services to a diverse range of markets including civil engineering, rail, oil and gas exploration.

Garry Wilson, the managing partner of Endless LLP was named as Business Leader of the Year with Croda International plc a world leader in speciality chemicals picking up the inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

Martin Shaw, who recently retired as head of corporate, Europe at international law firm Pinsent Masons and Chairman of the Yorkshire Business Awards committee (after 23 years during which time he helped to raise over £3m) was presented with a Special Recognition award by Variety for his outstanding contribution and fund raising.

This year’s Awards chairman, Chris Kelly, who is group finance director at Redhall Group plc, said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Yorkshire Business Community for their support for Variety at today’s awards ceremony. We are very grateful to our fantastic sponsors, our awards judging panel and all those who attended the event and once again gave so generously.

Sir Michael Parkinson with veteran Variety Yorkshire Barker, Bobbie Caplin OBE

YBA compere, Christine Talbot with Martin Gold

Martin Shaw and Duncan Syers, chairman of the Yorkshire committee of Variety

Croda’s Sarah Millns and Leeds University Beckett University’s Professor Christopher Prince