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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Parky Passes At 88

Legendary Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, the Master of Interviews, leaves an indelible mark on the world as he bids farewell at 88. Hailing from Yorkshire, UK, this iconic presenter captivated audiences with his unrivalled skills. Knighted in 2008, Sir Parkinson's legacy will forever shine bright. Today, we mourn the loss of a true legend. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Mary, whom he wed in 1959, and three cherished children.

Photo credit: PA (under "fair usage")

After leaving school, he worked for newspapers while also playing cricket for a local club. He even had trials for Yorkshire, alongside Geoffrey Boycott. Later, he served in the Royal Army Pay Corps during his National Service and became the youngest Captain in the British Army at that time.

The swinging 60s introduced Parkinson to the small screen, tackling hard-hitting news and captivating documentaries. But it was in 1984 that he took charge with the iconic game show ITV Give Us A Clue and stepping in for the legendary Barry Norman on BBC's Film 85. Yet it was his own show, aptly named Parkinson, that truly made him a household name. From 1971 to 1982, he charmed viewers with his unforgettable interviews, before making a triumphant return in 1998, keeping us hooked until 2007. And let's not forget his stint as the face of ITV's ground breaking breakfast show, TV-am, from which he departed in 1984. Parkinson: will be remembered as a TV legend who redefined the art of interviewing.

In 1992, there was a rather ill-advised television appearance that caught everyone's attention - Ghostwatch. This show, as a fictional paranormal investigation, managed to deceive many viewers into thinking it was genuine, thanks to the host's composed and authoritative tone. However, the aftermath of the show was far from pleasant, with a barrage of complaints flooding in. Consequently, Ghostwatch has never graced the television screens again, forever banished from the realm of broadcasting. (Photo credit: BBC (under "fair usage")

With a whopping 450+ credits, he's done it all. You might recognise him from a brief moment in the heart warming UK seasonal film, Love Actually, or him making a cameo as himself in the hit Aussie soap, Neighbours.

He conducted interviews with a wide range of individuals spanning seven decades of broadcasting, including the well-known Emu interview featuring Rod Hull.

Embracing both the small screen and the airwaves, radio became a steadfast companion in his illustrious journey. One noteworthy gig was hosting Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, where he gracefully stepped into the shoes of the late Roy Plomley. But that's not all - he's graced our screens with countless commercials. However, his heart always remained loyal to his true love: newspapers. Words flowed effortlessly from his pen, capturing the essence of sports in his books and even penning his own remarkable life story.

In 2013, he bravely battled prostate cancer, emerging victorious in 2015. However, today we mourn the loss of this remarkable individual, as he succumbed to a sudden illness.

His family confirmed the news, with a statement: "After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family.
"The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve."

This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit:

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