49 Facts About Michael Parkinson

1.

Sir Michael Parkinson was born on 28 March 1935 and is an English broadcaster, journalist and author.

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2.

Michael Parkinson presented his television talk show Parkinson from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007, as well as other talk shows and programmes both in the UK and internationally.

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3.

Michael Parkinson has been described by The Guardian as "the great British talkshow host".

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4.

Michael Parkinson was a club cricketer, and both he and his opening partner at Barnsley Cricket Club, Dickie Bird, had trials for Yorkshire together with Geoffrey Boycott.

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5.

Michael Parkinson once kept Boycott out of the Barnsley Cricket Club team by scoring a century and 50 in two successive matches.

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6.

Michael Parkinson began as a journalist on local newspapers straight after leaving school.

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7.

Michael Parkinson worked as a features writer for the Manchester Guardian, working alongside Michael Frayn, and later on the Daily Express in London.

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8.

Michael Parkinson saw active service in Egypt in the Suez Crisis as a British Army press liaison officer.

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9.

Michael Parkinson was one of the reporters and presenters on the five-times-a-week daily news magazine show Twenty-Four Hours on BBC1 from March 1966 until January 1968.

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10.

Michael Parkinson was one of the original line-up of TV-am in 1983, with Angela Rippon, Anna Ford, David Frost and Robert Kee.

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11.

Michael Parkinson presented the weekend edition of the programme until February 1984 before leaving.

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12.

Michael Parkinson became host of Thames Television's Give Us a Clue from Michael Aspel from 1984, while in 1985, he stood in for Barry Norman as presenter of Film 85.

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13.

In 1987 and 1988, Michael Parkinson hosted 15 episodes of Michael Parkinson One to One for Yorkshire Television, a series of interview programmes which continued in the style of his BBC talk show but with each episode dedicated to a single celebrity guest.

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14.

Michael Parkinson again played himself in Richard Curtis's 2003 romantic comedy, Love Actually, interviewing the character Billy Mack, played by Bill Nighy.

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15.

From 31 January to 3 February 2007, Michael Parkinson presented "Symphony at the Movies" at Sydney Opera House, where he shared stories about his interviews with movie stars and introduced music from films.

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16.

In October 2003, Michael Parkinson had a controversial interview with Meg Ryan while she was in the UK to promote In the Cut, calling it his most difficult television moment.

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17.

In 2007, Michael Parkinson appeared in the Australian soap Neighbours as himself.

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18.

Michael Parkinson was a flagship of the BBC's prime time schedule, attracting top names before the chat show circuit was part of the promotional mill.

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19.

Michael Parkinson was able to interview wartime variety stars while attracting up-and-coming comedians such as Billy Connolly.

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20.

Michael Parkinson was not afraid to allow an interviewee time to be themself, sometimes, as with Fred Astaire, Orson Welles, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Paul McCartney, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, Madonna, John Cleese and Mel Gibson, devoting an entire programme to a guest who was considered especially noteworthy.

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21.

Michael Parkinson stated that 'If I could save one interview from the thousands I have done, it would be the one-man show with Professor Jacob Bronowski.

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22.

Michael Parkinson stated that the most remarkable man he ever interviewed was Muhammad Ali, and regrets never having interviewed Frank Sinatra or Sir Don Bradman.

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23.

Michael Parkinson returned to hosting television in November 2012 with his new show Michael Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts.

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24.

Michael Parkinson took over BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs for the 1986 series after the 1985 death of its creator, Roy Plomley, whose widow was unhappy with Michael Parkinson replacing him.

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25.

Michael Parkinson claimed that the criticism was "a rearguard action by the establishment against the perceived desecration of an institution by an outsider".

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26.

Michael Parkinson stayed for three years until handing duties over to Sue Lawley.

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27.

Michael Parkinson Ball replaced him until Terry Wogan moved to Sunday mornings to present Weekend Wogan.

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28.

Michael Parkinson presented a mid-morning programme on London's LBC Newstalk 97.

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29.

Michael Parkinson was considered responsible for promotion of jazz singers to a more mainstream audience during the run of his BBC radio show.

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30.

In 1965 The Sunday Times invited Michael Parkinson to write a regular sports column, drawing on characters in his days in cricket and football.

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31.

Michael Parkinson wrote a sports column for the Daily Telegraph and is president of the Sports Journalists' Association.

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32.

In 1971, Michael Parkinson was nominated as a candidate for the position of Rector of the University of Dundee.

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33.

The result was controversial, as it was alleged earlier results indicated Michael Parkinson had won, and a further recount should have taken place to confirm the result.

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34.

On 29 September 2008, Michael Parkinson launched his website, which included online interviews with Nelson Mandela and British comedian Rory Bremner.

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35.

Michael Parkinson gave the keynote address in Sydney on Australia Day 2011, the first non-Australian to do so.

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36.

Michael Parkinson used the publicity surrounding his Australia Day appearance to promote the abolition of the Australian monarchy.

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37.

Since finishing his talk show, Michael Parkinson has appeared in commercials for SunLife Guaranteed Over 50 Plan life insurance, stating that he likes "its no-nonsense approach to business".

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38.

In 2013, Michael Parkinson again criticised the course British television had taken, comparing series such as The One Show unfavourably with the broadcasting of the recently deceased Alan Whicker and David Frost, as well as stating the "cult of youth" had "distorted the standards".

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39.

Michael Parkinson spoke fondly of the time when "producers were unencumbered by such irksome obstacles as compliance, health and safety and frustrating commissioning procedures".

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40.

Michael Parkinson has declined to apologise to Helen Mirren over an interview he conducted in 1975, where he implied that serious actors could not have large breasts.

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41.

Under her new name, Mary Michael Parkinson was one of the presenters of the Thames TV daytime show Good Afternoon and briefly presented Michael Parkinson in the 1970s.

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42.

Michael Parkinson is a cricket fan, and in 1990 hosted a World XI team against Yorkshire.

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43.

Michael Parkinson met his friend Michel Roux when rowing down the River Thames on a Sunday to his then pub, the Waterside Inn.

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44.

Michael Parkinson formerly owned a Michelin Star restaurant near his home in Berkshire.

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45.

Michael Parkinson was invested as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles in November 2000 for services to broadcasting, having been honoured in the 2000 Birthday Honours.

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46.

Michael Parkinson was ranked eighth in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals.

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47.

Michael Parkinson has served as president of the Sports Journalists' Association of Great Britain since 2005, the largest national organisation of sports journalists in the world.

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48.

Michael Parkinson is on the cover of the 1973 Paul McCartney and Wings album Band on the Run.

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49.

In 2005, Michael Parkinson appeared with comedian Peter Kay on the music video of the re-released "Is This the Way to Amarillo" for Comic Relief, which became a number one single.

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