A VETERAN broadcast journalist and presenter has been recognised for his charitable and community work in the 2017 New Year’s Honours lists.

Former BBC South Today and Antiques Roadshow presenter Bruce Parker is to receive an MBE for his longstanding contributions to a number of organisations across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

Since retiring from a lengthy career at the BBC, Mr Parker moved to Appleshaw with his wife Suzanne and took on the roles of chairman and trustee of the Friends of Winchester Cathedral along with being chair of educational charities the Elizabeth College Foundation – his Guernsey school – and The Gibson Fleming Trust, Guernsey.

The 75-year-old is vice patron of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and the Southampton branch of Smile Support and Care as well as an ambassador for Leukaemia Busters, Southampton.

He is also former chairman of Appleshaw Parish Council, which he chaired for five years, and Harestock School governors in Winchester.

“I am absolutely chuffed to bits to get an award for what I have been doing since I have retired, which is to try to give something back,” said the grandfather-offive.

“It came completely out of the blue but I accept my honour with pride and on behalf of all the people I have worked with in the charities.”

Mr Parker grew up in Guernsey where he attended Elizabeth College.

His admiration of Winchester Cathedral began as a young man visiting Hampshire from the Channel Islands and being chairman of the Friends of Winchester Cathedral has seen him involved in raising £21m towards its future upkeep.

Representing the cathedral at the New Forest Show he was introduced to the Queen by former Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire Dame Mary Fagan.

“The Queen asked me why we need to raise all this money,” the former presenter recalled.

“I was flummoxed but I said, ‘Well Ma’am, there is a hole in the roof, the walls are falling in and the windows are falling out’ and she burst into laughter.

“I love the cathedral, I think it is an awesome building and it has been a privilege to be involved in it,” he added.

Mr Parker’s journalism career began as a student reading English at the University of Wales when he became the Welsh education correspondent for The Times.

After completing a postgraduate course in education at Reading University he returned to Guernsey to teach and it was during that time that he ran a local BBC radio pilot for schools on the Channel Islands – part of the foundation of the BBC’s local radio network.

He presented South Today for over 35 years from the age of 26 and was the first presenter of Antiques Roadshow, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Other popular shows which he has fronted include Nationwide and Mainstream and he led the coverage of the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982, later taking charge of political programming.

While working at the BBC he lived in Winchester, where his daughter Sarah and son James grew up, becoming a member of the Friends of Winchester Cathedral in 1971 and he was on the cathedral council for a time during the 1980s.

“I hope to be able to continue charity work for as long as I’m fit and able,” he said, “and, of course, as long as my colleagues want me. If nothing else, it keeps the brain working as you get older.