Parky: Ipswich Town better than Norwich

MAYBE he's still bitter about the penalty his team missed when they played the Canaries, but Michael Parkinson has delivered his verdict on East Anglian football - the best team is Ipswich.

MAYBE he's still bitter about the penalty his team missed when they played the Canaries, but Michael Parkinson has delivered his verdict on East Anglian football - the best team is Ipswich.

The chat show legend was in Norwich on Wednesday to sign copies of his autobiography, and his dry Yorkshire humour was very much in evidence.

When asked what he thought of Norwich City so far this season, Sir Michael, a staunch Barnsley fan and clearly well aware of the rivalry in East Anglia, mischievously replied: “There is a decent football team in the area and that is Ipswich.

“They had a wonderful team and a marvellous chairman when Bobby Robson was at the club. I don't care about the Norwich football team, I care about Barnsley, the rest can go to pot.”

The Canaries came away from Barnsley earlier this season with a scarcely-deserved point, after goalkeeper David Marshall saved a penalty in a 0-0 draw.

Sir Michael, 73, was at Jarrold's bookstore to sign his book Parky, and hundreds of excited fans queued for hours to meet the journalist and broadcaster.

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The father-of-three revealed how he visited Norwich several times while working for the BBC in the 1960s, and said: “It's very nice to be back. It looks very much the same, same Christmas decorations.”

Mr Parkinson retired in 2007 after a television career which saw him interview a host of celebrities including Muhammed Ali, Paul McCartney, Tom Cruise and, infamously, Meg Ryan.

First in the queue to meet him was Luke Killett, a 23-year-old from Norwich, who had waited for almost five hours to get a copy of the autobiography signed for his grandmother.

Adam Oxbury, a 23-year-old insurance sales adviser from Spencer Street, Norwich, was close behind, and said: “I think he's brilliant - I love his Yorkshire sense of humour. I spent three years at university in Yorkshire so I think it's rubbed off on me a bit.”

Jane Winsworth, a 39-year-old full-time mother from Thorpe St Andrew was also there with retired Sheila Westlake, 70, from Little Plumstead, who had a pile of books ready to be signed.

Mrs Westlake said: “The books are for the family, and one for myself, of course. I think he is brilliant, he would never shout and swear on television like others do. He is one of the last true gentlemen; he has such a lovely manner.”

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