Leonard Parkin

Leonard Parkin (2 June 1929 - 20 September 1993) was a British TV journalist and newscaster who worked for both the BBC and ITN.

Born in Thurnscoe, Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, he was educated at Hemsworth Grammar School, Yorkshire. He worked as a reporter on the BBC's Panorama for many years before joining ITN, initially as a reporter but later as a newscaster for ITV's main early evening bulletins in the 1970's. In November 1963, he was deputy correspondent for the BBC in Washington and his Radio Newsreel report on the assassination of John F. Kennedy is a historic recording. Between 1976 and 1987 he was, along with Peter Sissons, one of the main presenters for ITN's News at One, and often hosted the News at 5:45 between 1979 and 1987. He occasionally presented News at Ten.

Parkin was one of the most popular newsreaders ever to work for ITN, and, like his former co-host of the News at 5:45 Michael Nicholson, he became renowned for his cheerful and friendly disposition. He always began the News at One by saying "hello, good afternoon.." then reading the headlines. When he presented News at 5:45 on 24 October 1979, he was the first ITN newscaster to be seen on ITV following the conclusion of the ITV strike of August-October 1979.

During the Falklands War of 1982, Parkin temporarily replaced Michael Nicholson as main presenter of the News at 5:45, and broke to the UK the news that the ARA General Belgrano had been sunk in a controversial incident during the Falklands War. He and Michael Nicholson provided a detailed report of this incident. He left ITN in 1987, returning to his native Yorkshire to make a series of documentaries about the county for Yorkshire Television, entitled Pieces of Parkin.

A Freemason, Parkin was a member of a Lodge which met at The Cloisters in Letchworth Garden City.

Leonard died of cancer of the spine, in Scarborough, on 20 September 1993.

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    The purpose of population is not ultimately peopling earth. It is to fill heaven.
    —Graham D. Leonard (b. 1921)