Soundtrack Of My Life: Katherine Parkinson

Star of 'The IT Crowd' and karaoke fiend

The first song I fell in love with

Elvis Presley – ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’

“I was given an Elvis cassette by my mum when I was 11 and I listened to it endlessly on my personal stereo. ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ is not one of his cooler songs – it’s actually pretty sentimental and ghastly in its lyrics. He was the first man I fell in love with and my first idol. When he starts talking on ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ – I used to talk back: ‘Oh yes I am Elvis, how are you?’ He was my first boyfriend until I was about 22.”

The first gig I went to


Elton John, Eric Clapton and Curtis Stigers at Wembley Stadium, 1992

“I must have been about 15 and I really fancied Curtis Stigers at the time. I’m more of a fan of the intimate gig rather than the big Wembley experience. I just feel like I wanna sit down. But I do remember being a bit scared of the friend I went with, I won’t mention her by name but she’s quite scary. We’re no longer friends.”

The song I wish I’d written

Trevor Peacock – ‘Can I Walk You Home?’

“My father in law, Trevor Peacock, passed away a few weeks ago. He was known as an actor [in Vicar of Dibley] but he actually wrote a lot of songs. One of my favourites was ‘Can I Walk You Home?’ I’m so proud that he wrote it. He had a lovely singing voice too. The lyrics are very him and we’re putting it on at his burial site. He was a wonderful man.”

The song I do at karaoke


The Bangles – ‘Manic Monday’

“I absolutely love karaoke, I’m a mic-hogger. That’s something that I’m looking forward to doing at some point again. I have a playlist – and this is the song I start with. I tried to do ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ once and people left the area. I learned my lesson. When I did [comedy] Dead Funny in [the West End], the cast used to go to Lucky Voice [karaoke bar] afterwards – it was Steve Pemberton, Ralf Little and I. My kids were already asleep so I didn’t feel guilty.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes – ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’

“My daughters play this on car journeys again and again and again. It’s sweet. I don’t monitor what they listen to – they’re not understanding the lyrics in the fullest sense anyway. I’m not blasting ‘WAP’ so it’s OK.”

The song I can no longer listen to

ABBA – ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’

“It’s about a daughter growing up. I’m in pieces [when I listen to it], irritatingly emotional. Meryl Streep, because she’s such a good actress and sings beautifully, expresses it beautifully.”

The song that reminds me of filming

Martha and the Vandellas – ‘Dancing In The Street’

“I remember dancing to this with Bill Nighy when we were shooting The Boat That Rocked. We had such a lovely afternoon on the boat. Bill was throwing some great moves, but so was I. I spent a lot of time on a ferry filming that. I was convinced I had that strange condition you can get when you get off a boat but you still feel like you’re on one.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Joan Baez – ‘Forever Young’

“It was a song I had playing at the end of a play I wrote recently. It’s about the qualities you should have to stay forever young. It reminds me of my mum.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Gipsy Kings – ‘Bamboléo’

“My girls go nuts to it. When they were really little, they once ran into each other while dancing and both got a nose bleed. But we haven’t stopped doing it. It’s a song that makes me want to dance, but go straight to A&E afterwards.”

Katherine Parkinson’s Sitting is part of BBC Lights Up and is available on iPlayer now

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