Michael Parkinson

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Sir Michael Parkinson CBE (28 March 1935 – 16 August 2023) was an English television presenter, broadcaster, journalist and author. He 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. He also worked in radio and was described by The Guardian in 2012 as "the great British talkshow host". Parkinson was knighted in 2008.


  • Parkinson: [From his introduction, quoting a theatre critic] She is especially telling in projecting sluttish eroticism.
  • Parkinson: You are, in quotes, a serious actress [makes air quote fingers]
    Helen Mirren: In quotes? [...] What do you mean in quotes? How dare you.
    Parkinson: Serious actress [...] as opposed to an unserious actress.
  • Parkinson: Do you find it to be fact that, what could be best described as your equipment [...] hinders you in that pursuit [of being considered a serious actress]?
    Helen Mirren: I'd like you to explain what you mean by my equipment in greater detail.
    Parkinson: Your physical attributes.
    Mirren: You mean my fingers?
  • I happen to be a male chauvinist pig who loves women and enjoys flirting with women.
    I also think a lot of women watch the show but not for my bedroom eyes.
  • This accusation that I was 'soft' implies that you get more out of people by being aggressive. But the people I interview aren't criminals or child molesters, so why on earth should I act like an interrogator? [...] I relax the guests, I am a great listener.
  • [On the 1975 Mirren interview] I don't want to [apologise]. Nor does she. I don’t regard what happened there as being anything other than good television. [...] There is no need to apologise, not at all. She didn't want to do an interview and after about 10 minutes, I didn't want to interview her. There's no problem, it's not World War III for God’s sake.

About Parkinson

  • That's the first talk show I'd ever done. I was terrified. I watched it and I actually thought, bloody hell! I did really well. I was so young and inexperienced. And he was such a f------ sexist old fart. He was. He denies it to this day that it was sexist, but of course he was.
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