Page 3 Profile: Sir Michael Parkinson, television presenter


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The Independent Online

Difficult weekend?

While we’re sure sports-mad Parky was watching Wimbledon with the rest of us, if there was anything that could put a dampener on this scorcher of a weekend, it was his announcement that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

How is he taking it?

On the chin, how else! Despite beginning intensive radiotherapy last week, the chat show host isn’t slowing down. He’s said he expects to make a full recovery and won’t miss a day of work if he can help it. In fact he’s launched a campaign against the disease calling on men to carry out a simple test: “On a Friday night, in the pub, you’ll find yourself in a urinal. So try to hit the wall from 2ft. If you can’t, go to the doctor”.

Good on him

Too right. Parky holds a pretty special place in the nation’s heart so here’s hoping that his message is well heeded. Known for his dulcet, Yorkshire tones, the grammar-schoolboy son of a miner has risen to the very top of British television, despite only having two O-levels.

Not too much of a luvvie then?

Goodness no. As he put it yesterday, in suitably earthy terms: “Celebrity is nothing. What does it mean? Very little. Cancer is very real. But it is something you can only beat down if you stare it in the face.”