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Parkinson, or "Parky" as he is familiarly known, was born in Cudworth, near Barnsley, and was educated at Barnsley Grammar School. He began as a journalist on local newspapers, and his Yorkshire background and accent remain an important part of his appeal. He also worked as a reporter on the Manchester Guardian and later on the Daily Express in London.

During the 1960s, he moved into television, working on current affairs programmes for both the BBC and Manchester-based Granada Television. From 1969, he introduced a film review programme, before moving on to become a chat show host and a household name in the UK.

Parkinson, shown on BBC One, initially ran from 1971 to 1982. A parallel Parkinson series was shown in Australia between 1979 and 1982. In 1982 he left the BBC to be co-founder and presenter on the ITV breakfast television station TV-am, where after many schedule upheavals he ended up presenting the Sunday morning programme with his wife Mary Parkinson. He returned to the BBC in 1995 to present a series of retrospective shows, Parkinson: The Interviews featuring excerpts from Parkinson, eventually presenting a new, revived version of his chat show on BBC One three years later.

Guests he has interviewed include Muhammad Ali, Miss Piggy, Jacob Bronowski, Shirley MacLaine, Edith Evans, Luciano Pavarotti, Rod Stewart, Richard Attenborough, George Michael, kd lang, and Sarah Ferguson. His most famous interview was perhaps that with Rod Hull in the 1970s. Whilst the pair were chatting, Hull's glove puppet Emu repeatedly and (apparently) uncontrollably attacked Parkinson, causing him to fall off his chair. He allegedly threatened to break the puppet's neck (i. e., Hull's arm) if it happened again

Parkinson was made a CBE in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honours List. He is married to Mary, who herself briefly presented Parkinson in the 1970s. In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, Parkinson placed 8th.


NAME: Michael Parkinson

D.O.B: 28.03.1935

Description: A British broadcasting legend. A journalist and television presenter, he is most famous for presenting his eponymous interview programme, Parkinson.

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