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Michael Parkinson death: Presenter said ‘mutual loathing’ was behind infamous Helen Mirren interview

Broadcaster died ‘peacefully’ at home in the company of his family

Annabel Nugent,Inga Parkel,Tom Murray
Friday 18 August 2023 09:02 BST
Michael Parkinson's last ever TV interview on Good Morning Britain

Tributes to Sir Michael Parkinson are pouring in after the legendary broadcaster died aged 88.

Parkinson’s family confirmed the news in a statement to the BBC on Thursday (17 August).

“After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family,” said the family. They have requested “privacy and time to grieve”.

Born the son of a miner in Cudworth, South Yorkshire, Parkinson started his career in local journalism, taking on roles at The Guardian and The Daily Express before he pivoted to screen roles.

Over an illustrious career that spanned seven decades, Parkinson interviewed a number of high-profile guests including Muhammad Ali, Sir Billy Connolly, and Helen Mirren.

His flagship talk show, Parkinson, ran for 11 years on the BBC starting in 1971. It was later revived in 1998, ending in 2007.


Eric Morecambe recalled first heart attack on ‘Parkinson'

Among the many Parkinson clips to be shared on social media is Morecambe and Wise’s 1972 appearance. On the show Morecambe hilariously recalled the story of his first heart attack.

Tom Murray17 August 2023 01:29

Dickie Bird recounts final conversation with Michael Parkinson

Legendary cricket umpire Dickie Bird recalled his final conversation with his dear friend of 74 years, Michael Parkinson.

“I spoke to him yesterday, we had tears in our eyes and we said goodbye to each other, as if we had this feeling we wouldn’t see each other again,” he told Sky News in an emotional interview.

Tom Murray17 August 2023 02:30

Eddie Izzard pays tribute to ‘king of the intelligent interview'

Izzard was among the first to pay tribute to the late broadcaster, sharing news of his death accompanied with the caption: “Very sad to hear that Michael Parkinson has left us. He was the king of the intelligent interview.”

Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 10:42

Michael Parkinson ‘laughs and smiles’ in final TV interview months before death

Michael Parkinson's last ever TV interview on Good Morning Britain
Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 10:43

BBC director-general Tim Davie remembers Parkinson as ‘truly one of a kind'

In a statement, Tim Davie said: “Michael was the king of the chat show and he defined the format for all the presenters and shows that followed.

“He interviewed the biggest stars of the 20th century and did so in a way that enthralled the public. Michael was not only brilliant at asking questions, he was also a wonderful listener.”

Davie continued: “Michael was truly one of a kind, an incredible broadcaster and journalist who will be hugely missed.”

Sir Billy chats to Michael Parkinson and Sir David Attenborough in a 1998 appearance (BBC/PA)

Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 11:04

Elaine Paige remembers Parkinson as a ‘legendary interviewer’

Artist and BBC Radio 2 presenter Elaine Paige is among those remembering Parkinson following the news of his death.

“Have known him for many years, sang on his TV chat show & attended many events with him,”wrote Paige on X, formerly Twitter. “A legendary interviewer that will be remembered as the best of his profession. We will never see his like again.”

Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 11:07

‘They don’t make them like that anymore'

GB News presenter Eamonn Holmes shared a photograph of himself together with Parkinson.

Calling Parkinson “Parky”, Holmes wrote that it was a “privilege to know him on and off screen and to learn from him”.

Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 11:09

Dara Ó Briain remembers a ‘generous and encouraging’ man off screen

While Parkinson may have been best known for his intelligent interviews on TV, Mock the Week star Dara Ó Briain has paid tribute to a man who as “generous and encouraging off screen” as he was professional on screen.

“I had the privilege of doing the Michael Parkinson show 3 times and it the most I ever felt like I was in “proper showbiz”. He was a consummate pro on-screen, and generous and encouraging off-screen,” he wrote on X.

Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 11:13

Ó Briain remembers Parkinson doing the ‘coolest thing pre-show'

Ó Briain continued his tribute by recalling how Parkinson did the “coolest thing I ever saw pre-show”.

“I was standing with the guests, waiting for the show to start. Michael arrived, chatted away to us, not a nerve in sight,” he wrote.

“When the band starting playing the theme tune. Michael paused, smiled and said, ‘They’re playing my tune’ and walked straight out and started the show. Lovely.”

As far as Ó Briain could recall, the other guest that evening was Samuel L Jackson, “rather adding to how cool it all was”.

Michael Parkinson presents his ITV chat show in 1977

Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 11:18

Tonight at 9pm on BBC One

Following news of Michael Parkinson’s death, BBC One will be broadcasting a documentary tonight at 9pm featuring classic interviews from the legendary broadcaster.

Michael Parkinson interviews Helen Mirren in 1975

Annabel Nugent17 August 2023 11:25

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