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STEVE PARRISH

FRANKIE PARRISH

Dad had some novel nicknames for us as babies; ‘rugrats’ because we crawled around on the floor a lot, ‘winguts’ which he iced onto my 1st

birthday cake because my ears stuck out, and SCUD for brother, like the missile because he would seek and destroy anything of value!

I first learnt to drive in a red Mercedes estate car. It ran on petrol using a lawnmower engine so the chain had to be pulled to get it running but after that it was like any other car with leather seats, a clutch and gear stick. I didn’t learn in the garden, what use would that be? Dad took me off through the village to the corner shop, the most relaxed passenger a learner driver has ever had. We’d pick up a bunch of Twister icecream’s and get back to the house before Mum noticed.

I should be a Nobel Prize Winner by now because I’ve got a year’s education on everyone else. Lying about my date of birth, Dad convinced the local Primary School to take me on a year early aged four. They found out of course, and I had to stay behind in reception!

Instead of the normal, polite and informative manner of answering the telephone; ‘Hello, 246173’, my brother and I would have to answer ‘Hello, Parrish poo poos’ in case it was a customer for Dad’s side-line joke shop business! Never mind the fact that it could have been a friend from school or family member calling! 

Steve Parrish was born near Cambridge on 24 February 1953 and now lives on the Isle of Man. He is a former motorcycle and truck racer who now commentates on motorsport for various British media channels

Steve "Stavros" Parrish

Motorcycle Racing Career

Parrish turned professional at the age of 22 in 1976, winning the ACU Solo title in the British Motor Cycle Championship. In the same year he became team mate to Barry Sheene on a Suzuki and competed in the 1977 500cc world championship. Parrish finished fifth in the 1977 500cc world championship, before returning to British-based riding to become the 1978 500cc British Champion. He also won the Shell 500 title in both 1979 and 1980, and a Superbike title in 1981.

Truck Racing Career

After retiring from motorcycle racing in 1986, Parrish starting a successful truck racing career, winning the 1987 British Open Truck Racing Championship. Parrish took both the European and British Truck Racing championship titles in 1990, then held the British title for four years and retained the European title for three years driving for the BP-Mercedes Benz team. Parrish regained the prestigious European crown again in 1996 in Jarama. The most successful truck racer ever, he retired in 2002 at the age of 47 to hand over to Terry Rymer.

Yamaha Race Team Management

Parrish was appointed team manager for the UK Yamaha factory race team form 1987 to1991. During this time he went on to lead the team to three successful British Superbike championship titles in 1987, 1989 and 1990.

Commentary career

In 1985, Parrish started commentating for BBC radio, before joining Sky television to commentate on Superbike alongside Barry Nutley He moved to the BBC in 1990 to commentate on the British 125 championship, before transferring to the BBC’s Moto GP coverage, currently undertaken with Charlie Cox. The pair have a rapport and have commentated on a number of series for the BBC from the late 1990s, including British Touring Cars, British and World Superbikes and now

 

MotoGP

. A qualified pilot, Parrish was also a commentator for the

 

Red Bull Air Race

 

series for Channel 4.

Other work & achievements

Away from television, Steve regularly tests vehicles and writes for racing magazines. He is also an

 

expert witness

 

for motor racing incidents helping establish the facts for those involved.

Parrish holds the Guinness Book of Records world record for the “Fastest Speed Achieved in Reverse” (105mph) using a Caterham car. He also co-authored the story of Motocycling legend Barry Sheene with Nick Harris.

Personality

A renowed practical joker and his stories are legendary. He is still banned from Macau after blowing up a brothel and once posed as a medical doctor to allow John Hopkins to fly from Japan to the Australian GP.

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