Beloved British TV Host Michael Parkinson Passes Away at 88 – New Delhi Times

By | August 19, 2023

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death – Obituary News : Renowned British broadcaster Michael Parkinson, who conducted interviews with some of the world’s most famous celebrities, has passed away at the age of 88. Parkinson’s family confirmed his death, stating that he died peacefully at his home after a brief illness.

Parkinson began his career as a journalist before making his television debut in 1971 with his own talk show titled “Parkinson,” which aired on the BBC. Known for his ability to put his guests at ease, Parkinson became Britain’s talk show king, drawing out insights from his guests that others couldn’t. He had a unique interviewing style, often engaging in playful banter and sparring with his guests rather than simply seeking anecdotes.

Born in the coalmining village of Cudworth in northern England, Parkinson initially aspired to play cricket for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. However, when that dream was shattered, he pursued a career in journalism. He worked for various newspapers before transitioning to television, where he hosted his talk show on regional channels Granada and Thames Television before joining the BBC.

Throughout his career, Parkinson conducted over 2,000 interviews, meeting some of the most accomplished actors, musicians, and politicians of the 20th century. His guest list included Hollywood legends such as Fred Astaire, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jimmy Cagney, Bing Crosby, and Orson Welles. He also interviewed musical greats like David Bowie, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, as well as sporting legends like George Best.

Parkinson’s interviews weren’t limited to humans. In 1976, he was famously terrorized by a puppet emu on his show. Two years later, he professed his love for Miss Piggy and cuddled up with her, much to the apparent discomfort of Kermit the Frog.

While most of his interviews went smoothly, there were a few notable exceptions. His 2003 encounter with actor Meg Ryan became infamous after she took offense at a question about her film “In the Cut.” The interview turned frosty, with Ryan eventually telling Parkinson to wrap it up. In 2021, Parkinson apologized for his handling of the situation.

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Parkinson bid farewell to his chat show in 2007 after more than 30 years on the air. His final show featured guests like David Beckham, Michael Caine, Judi Dench, and David Attenborough. Reflecting on his career, Parkinson expressed his gratitude for the privilege of meeting intelligent and interesting people.

In 2008, Parkinson was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to broadcasting. He humorously remarked that he never expected to receive such an honor, joking that he thought there was a better chance of him turning into a Martian.

In 2013, Parkinson revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer after a routine health check. He is survived by his wife Mary, whom he married in 1959, and their three sons.

Parkinson’s legacy as a talk show host and interviewer is unmatched. He defined the format for presenters and shows that followed him, leaving a lasting impact on British broadcasting. His ability to connect with his guests and draw out their insights will be remembered for years to come.

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