Legendary TV Personality Sir Michael Parkinson Dies At 88

National Treasure 'Parky' Passes Away At 88

Sir Michael Parkinson. Credit: Michael Parkinson/Facebook.com

The renowned television host Sir Michael Parkinson has passed away at 88, according to a statement from his family. The well-loved personality, affectionately known as Parky, died last night at his home surrounded by his loved ones.

His illustrious television career, which stretched over seven decades, saw him converse with some of the most famous individuals on his enduring talk show. Among his notable guests were Sir Billy Connolly, Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John, Madonna, and Dame Helen Mirren.

‘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,’ said the family’s statement, as reported by the BBC, Thursday, August 17.

Born in 1935 in Cudworth, South Yorkshire, Sir Michael’s father, a miner, fostered in him a passion for cricket. He completed two O-Levels and began his career gathering sports results for a local paper. Following a two-year stint in the British army, he pursued journalism with the Manchester Guardian (now the Guardian) and later the Daily Express in London.

Transitioning to television, Sir Michael became a current affairs host and reporter for Granada and the BBC, eventually leading his own show on BBC One.

Of all the distinguished guests he spoke with, he often cited Muhammad Ali as his favourite. His television journey also included roles on ITV’s TV-am breakfast show, Give Us a Clue, and BBC One’s Going For a Song.

In 2013, Sir Michael disclosed that he was undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer, receiving a clean bill of health two years later.

His contributions to television were recognised with a CBE in 2000, followed by a knighthood in 2008. From 2012 to 2014, he also hosted a Sky Arts series named Michael Parkinson: Masterclass.

Sir Michael’s legacy as a chat show pioneer who set a high standard will be remembered by many.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.