Beloved UK broadcaster and renowned chat show host, Sir Michael Parkinson, has passed away at the age of 88. His family confirmed this news in a statement to the BBC, revealing that he peacefully departed at home after a brief illness, surrounded by his loved ones.
From Ali to De Niro: Parkinson’s Legendary Interviews with Hollywood’s Best
Legendary UK broadcaster Michael Parkinson, with a career spanning seven decades, was a prominent figure on UK screens, renowned for his long-running chat show where he interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars including Muhammad Ali, Elton John, Madonna, Helen Mirren, Tom Cruise, and Robert De Niro.
Notable for his monumental interviews in the latter half of the 20th century, Parkinson was known for his ability to extract candid truths from celebrities, occasionally sparking controversy. He estimated conducting around 2,000 interviews.
Despite battling prostate cancer in 2013 and undergoing radiotherapy, Parkinson received a clean bill of health in 2015. BBC Director General Tim Davie hailed him as the “king of the chat show,” praising his interviewing skills and lasting influence.
Michael Parkinson: A Trailblazing Career in Journalism and Television
Born in 1935 near Barnsley, Michael Parkinson initially pursued a career in journalism, starting with local newspapers and later joining The Daily Express in London. In the 1960s, he transitioned to television, becoming a reporter and presenter on BBC One’s Twenty-Four Hours.
His show “Parkinson” ran for over two decades, featuring iconic interviews. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, he continued to write and appear on TV and radio even after his retirement.
Survived by his wife Mary Parkinson and three children, his impact on journalism and television remains profound.