The chat show host once welcomed Ryan as a guest on his BBC show to promote her poorly-received erotic thriller In the Cut.
The frosty chat that ensued between the pair has become one of the most memorable interviews of all time, with Parkinson growing increasingly frustrated with the When Harry Met Sally star.
After being accused of not enjoying fame, Ryan eventually told Parkinson: “Wrap it up.”
Now, 18 years later, the TV host has offered Ryan an apology over his behaviour during the interview.
Reflecting on the moment, Parkinson – who retired from TV in 2007 – told the Radio Times: “I wish I hadn’t lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I’d dealt with it in a more courteous manner.
“I was quite obviously angry with her and it’s not my business to be angry towards the guests. I came across as kind of pompous and I could have done better.”
Asked what he would say to Ryan if he saw her again, Parkinson replied: “I’m sorry. But you must understand that you played a part in it too.”
The 86-year-old added: “Neither of us were on top form, and we were both discomforted.”
The broadcaster’s most recent remarks are a departure from his previous comments about the moment.
He has previously called Ryan “an unhappy woman”, while Ryan described Parkinson as a “nut” and criticised him for speaking to her “like a disapproving dad”.
Ryan told Marie Claire: “I don’t even know the man. That guy was like some disapproving father! It’s crazy. I don’t know what he is to you guys, but he’s a nut. I felt like he was berating me for being naked in the movie.”
The Independent has contacted a representative of Ryan’s for comment.
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