One of the BBC's first weather forecasters, known for being a “gentleman and people person”, has died aged 90.  

Graham Parker first began working at the Met Office in the 1950s.  

Eastern Daily Press: Weatherman Graham Parker has died aged 90Weatherman Graham Parker has died aged 90 (Image: Newsquest)

Before joining Look East in 1984, when he set up a weather centre in Norwich, he was already a well-known national television forecaster, broadcasting on the BBC from 1963 until 1974.  

He also came from a long line of inventors including his grandfather, Thomas, who invented the first prototype electric car during the Victorian era.  

Graham Howard Parker was born on September 23, 1932, in London and grew up in the northwest of the city in Willesden.

Eastern Daily Press: Graham Parker's grandfather, Thomas, invented the first prototype electric car during the Victorian eraGraham Parker's grandfather, Thomas, invented the first prototype electric car during the Victorian era (Image: Newsquest)

During his early childhood, he was evacuated to various places across the country – including Manchester – before returning to London and attending Kilburn Grammar School. He would joke that because he moved schools so much during the war, he ended up always reading the start of “this same book” and never did find out its ending! 

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Mr Parker first came to his beloved Norfolk while stationed at RAF Coltishall during his National Service, also spending time in Hembsy; but his interest in the weather was sparked by a geography teacher long before this. His love of learning never ceased, and he would go on to gain two degrees – one from the Open University during retirement.

Eastern Daily Press: Graham Parker picture working in 1987Graham Parker picture working in 1987 (Image: Newsquest library) 

He worked for the Meteorological Office in London, Malta and Gibraltar with his young family and settled in Banstead, in Surrey, before eventually moving to Eaton, near Norwich.  

The Met Office sent Mr Parker to open a regional office in the city, where he was soon recruited by BBC Look East to present their first dedicated regional forecasts.  

In Norwich, he worked alongside forecasters Ivor Moores, Andy Cutcher and Phil Garner both in the office and on screen.  

Working in a time before satellites, Mr Parker would forecast conditions based on information from weather balloons and reports from aircraft, boats and lighthouses.

Eastern Daily Press: Graham Parker holding a still of his grandfather's inventionGraham Parker holding a still of his grandfather's invention (Image: Newsquest)

He would also present without an autocue and would have to memorise up to four minutes of word-perfect information, a skill which ultimately made him a brilliant impromptu performer. This was perfect for when he would star in Gang Shows for the Scouts. 

Graham was married to Margaret for 63 years, and they tied the knot on March 14, 1959, in Swansea in South Wales. Together they had four children; Alun (1960), Gillian (1961), Keith (1964), and Sarah (1971). 

Speaking to the BBC, his son Keith, 58, said: “As kids, it was 'Daddy's on television!'  

"We always used to wave to him, but being the absolute professional - he would never wave back or say hi to the kids."

 Eastern Daily Press: Graham Parker (second from right) pictured with his wife and childrenGraham Parker (second from right) pictured with his wife and children (Image: Courtesy of Parker family)

He added: “He wasn't a career person - he was more about the service.  

"All the people you talk to would always say he was such a nice, kind man - and he didn't try to be that - he was it."  

His daughter, Sarah Sweeting, said: “He was a people person. Both a gentleman and a gentle man. You could always rely on him.  

“He loved his family, and the church was also very important to him.  

“He ended up in Norfolk as it is where he felt most at home. That was important to him. He was very happy here.” 

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Outside of his career, he had many interests and hobbies including gardening, geology, stamp collecting, and during his retirement he took up bowls.  

Mr Parker died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Christmas Eve (December 24) following a bout of poor health. As well as his wife and children, he leaves behind four grandchildren.  

His funeral took place on January 19 at St Andrew's Church, Eaton. Donations were collected for The Salvation Army via Gordon Barber on Church Lane.