Sir Michael Parkinson: Chat show host dies aged 88

9 minutes ago
About sharing

Of the many guests he interviewed, Parkinson said Muhammad Ali was his favourite
By Paul Gribben and Emily McGarvey
BBC News

Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson has died at the age of 88, his family has confirmed.

His TV career spanned seven decades, and he interviewed the world’s biggest stars on his long-running chat show.

A statement from Sir Michael’s family said: “After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family.

“The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve.”

Sir Michael’s high-profile guests included Sir Billy Connolly, Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John, Madonna and Dame Helen Mirren.

The presenter revealed he was receiving radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer in 2013, and said he got the all-clear from doctors two years later.

Sir Michael Parkinson interviewing Sir David Attenborough and Sir Billy Connolly in 1998

He introduced the first Parkinson show in 1971 on BBC television – with US jazz singer Marion Montgomery his first guest.

The show ran initially for 11 years and spanned hundreds of episodes in which Sir Michael combined an avuncular style with a journalistic background.

He returned to the BBC in 1998 for another run of the show. Sir Michael estimated he had interviewed more than 2,000 guests in total.

Parkinson with Morecambe and Wise in 1976

Born in 1935 in the South Yorkshire village of Cudworth, Sir Michael was the son of a miner who instilled in his son a love of cricket.

He achieved two O-Levels and got a job collating sports results on a local newspaper.

After two years in the British army, he worked as a journalist for the Manchester Guardian (later renamed the Guardian) before joining the Daily Express in London.

He moved into television as a current affairs presenter and reporter for both Granada and the BBC before he was recruited to present his self-titled show on BBC One.

He also hosted game show Give Us A Clue, which also featured Liza Goddard and Lionel Blair

Of the many high-profile guests he interviewed, Sir Michael said boxer Muhammad Ali was his favourite.

His TV career also included ITV’s TV-am breakfast show, Give Us a Clue, and BBC One’s Going For a Song.

Sir Michael also hosted a Sky Arts series called Michael Parkinson: Masterclass from 2012 to 2014.

He was made a CBE in 2000 and was knighted in 2008.

Related Topics

More on this story

8 minutes ago
7 minutes ago