Val Parnell

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Val Parnell
Born
Valentine Charles Parnell

(1892-02-14)14 February 1892
Died22 September 1972(1972-09-22) (aged 80)
Portsea Place, London
OccupationTheatre and music hall impresario, television executive

Valentine Charles Parnell (14 February 1892 – 22 September 1972) was a British television managing director and presenter, actor and theatrical impresario.[1] A former staple of stage production, his career in television started with the launch of the ITV network in 1955.

Life and career[edit]

Parnell was born in London, the son of Fred Russell, a ventriloquist, and began his theatrical career at age 13 working as an office boy for a music-hall circuit. By 1945 he had become managing director of the Moss Empires music hall and variety circuit, in charge of some of London's most well-known theatres.

He auditioned and signed 12-year-old Julie Andrews for her first professional performance and introduced her to her manager, Charles Tucker, also known as Uncle Charlie Tucker.[2]

In 1956 he was appointed Managing Director of Associated Television (ATV). He took a personal interest in the station's output and presented the weekly musical variety show Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium until 1965.

He lost his position on the ATV board to Lew Grade in 1962[3] and retired in 1966.

He died on 22 September 1972, aged 80, while on holiday at his luxury London flat, 64, Portsea Hall, Portsea Place. Described as having the stature of a heavyweight boxer and 6 ft 2in tall, he suffered a massive heart attack and died before paramedics arrived.

He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium where a memorial plaque was erected in the West Courtyard at the end of the columbarium.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BFI Screenonline Parnell, Val (1892-1972) Biography".
  2. ^ Windeler, Robert: "Julie Andrews: A Biography", pg 24, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1970
  3. ^ Grade, Lord Lew (1906-1998) BFI screenonline page