Home Entertainment Renowned Broadcaster and Talk Show Host Michael Parkinson Passes Away at Age...

Renowned Broadcaster and Talk Show Host Michael Parkinson Passes Away at Age 88


Sir Michael Parkinson, the veteran broadcaster considered the king of British chat show hosts, has died aged 88, his family has told the BBC.

A statement from Mr Parkinson’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 requests that they are given privacy and time to grieve.”

The chat show host interviewed some of Hollywood’s biggest names throughout his illustrious career – with names such as Jimmy Cagney, Fred Astaire, Lauren Bacall, and Ingrid Bergmann on the list.

Mr. Parkinson became a familiar face on both the BBC and ITV because of his intimate celebrity interviews, most notably on the BBC show Parkinson.

Parkinson first aired on the BBC on June 19th, 1971, and enjoyed a successful run until 1982. In 1998, the chat show was revived on the BBC and proved an instant hit.

Parkinson’s illustrious career on television saw him interview many of the world’s highest-profile figures over seven decades, from Hollywood stars to Grammy-winning musicians, Olympic athletes, and politicians.

Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John, Madonna, Sir Michael Caine, John Lennon, and Orson Welles were among the names to have appeared on Parkinson’s series. Other superstars to have appeared on his shows included Lauren Bacall, David Bowie, Kenneth Williams, Bette Davis, Tom Hanks, Fred Astaire, John Wayne, and George Michael.

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

After retiring from presenting in that year, Parkinson returned to the airwaves in 2012 for the Sky Arts series Parkinson: Masterclass.

He also hosted the BBC’s famous radio series Desert Island Discs between 1986 and 1988, following the death of creator Roy Plomley.

Parkinson was born in Cudworth, South Yorkshire, in 1935, and was the son of a miner.

His career started in local journalism, where he had a job collating sports results. A two-year stint in the military beginning in 1955, around the time of the Suez crisis, saw him become what was then the youngest captain in the British army.

Parkinson was successfully treated for prostate cancer after being diagnosed in 2013, and underwent spinal surgery in 2017.

He had three sons with his wife Mary, whom he married in 1959.

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