Sir Michael Parkinson is a legend; the ultimate interviewer. But next month the tables will be turned when he becomes the interviewee instead.
Renowned for interviewing thousands of celebrities over the years, Sir Michael, affectionately known as ‘Parky’, will be putting himself in the hot seat when he is interviewed by his son about his lengthy and prestigious career.
Parky will be coming to the Grand Opera House in Belfast on Wednesday, May 17 when fans can hear first hand his favourite memories from his many years as a broadcaster and chat show host. As well as sharing stories, there will also be screens on stage to show clips from the popular Parksinson series, with some of the most memorable guests every featured,
Talking to The Ballymena Times, he looked back over some of the greatest highlights of his career, as well as some of his biggest regrets. “When I look back at the guest list it is quite remarkable,” he explained. “Some of my favourite guests include Georgie Best, who was my friend as well, and Billy Connolly who I have interviewed more times than anyone else, apart from Dame Edna Everage. The list goes on and on and I am sure there are people I have forgotten. It’s not so much me talking about them, they are there on stage.”
Having interviewed over 2000 well known names over the years, narrowing down who to include was no easy feat. However, he is absolutely certain about just who was his personal favourite - Lauren Bacall. “She was legendary and a real part of my childhood,” he continued. “I was desperately besotted by her. When she kissed me I nearly passed out and I thought to myself ‘you stupid man’.”
Despite his reputation for attracting big names to his show, one man slipped through his net, much to his disappointment. “I would loved to have interviewed Sinatra. I met him once and said hello but he didn’t do interviews. He didn’t need the publicity. I did get to sing with Big Crosby once on the show but I never got Sinatra on the show.”
After such a long career in front of the camera, it is difficult to imagine the great man doing anything else with his life but he does admit that if he had not gone into journalism at a young age, he would have liked to have played cricket, an ambition close to his father’s heart. “My father, who I was very close to, died thinking I was a failure because I didn’t play cricket for Yorkshire,” he said. “He said ‘you’ve made a bob or two, done it without breaking a sweat, met some beautiful women, but you never played cricket for Yorkshire’.”
Tickets for the show, priced from £23.25, are on sale now.