|Height:||178 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||March 28, 1935|
|Height:||178 cm (5' 11'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
Parkinson was born in the village of Cudworth, in Barnsley, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England (since 1974 included in the new Metropolitan County of South Yorkshire). The son of a miner, he was educated at Barnsley Grammar School after passing the eleven-plus and in 1951 passed two O-Levels: in Art and English Language. He was a club cricketer, and both he and his opening partner at Barnsley Cricket Club, Dickie Bird, had trials for Yorkshire together with Geoffrey Boycott. He once kept Boycott out of the Barnsley Cricket Club team by scoring a century and 50 in two successive matches. A Michael Parkinson 'World XI', played at the Scarborough Festival between 1988 and 1990.
Parkinson began as a journalist on local newspapers straight after leaving school, and his Yorkshire background and accent remain. He worked as a features writer for the Manchester Guardian, working alongside Michael Frayn, and later on the Daily Express in London. In the course of his two years' National Service which began in July 1955 he received a commission as an officer in the Royal Army Pay Corps, and became the youngest Captain in the British Army at the time of being awarded the rank. He saw active service in Egypt in the Suez Crisis as a British Army press liaison officer.
On 22 August 1959 he married Mary Agnes Heneghan who was from Doncaster. Under her new name, Mary Parkinson was one of the presenters of the Thames TV daytime show Good Afternoon and briefly presented Parkinson in the 1970s. They have three children, Andrew, Nicholas and Michael Jr., who were born in 1960, 1964, and August 1967 along with eight grandchildren. In the 1970s he campaigned in support of birth control, having had a vasectomy in 1972 to allow his wife to stop taking the Pill. He is a cricket fan, and in 1990 hosted a World XI team against Yorkshire. Parkinson and his wife live in Bray, Berkshire. He met his friend Michel Roux when rowing down the River Thames on a Sunday to his then pub, the Waterside Inn. Parkinson currently owns a Michelin Star restaurant near his home in Berkshire. In an interview with Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne on the RTÉ religious programme The Meaning of Life, he stated that he was an agnostic atheist.
Parkinson's first article for the Sunday Times Colour Section, 'Living in a Museum' (about the Suffolk village of Lavenham) appeared on 8 July 1962. In 1965 The Sunday Times invited Parkinson to write a regular sports column, drawing on characters in his days in cricket and football. These Sunday Times and, his articles for Punch magazine later formed the basis for two books, Cricket Mad and Football Daft. In the 1980s, Parkinson wrote a series of children's books called The Woofits about a family of anthropomorphic dog-like creatures in the fictional Yorkshire coal-mining village of Grimeworth. The books led to a TV series, which he narrated. He wrote a sports column for the Daily Telegraph and is president of the Sports Journalists' Association.
During the 1960s, Parkinson moved into television, working on current affairs programmes for the BBC and Manchester-based Granada Television. From 1969 he presented Granada's Cinema, a late-night film review programme, (which included his first star interview with Laurence Olivier), before in 1971 presenting his eponymous BBC series Parkinson, which ran until 1982 and from 1998 until December 2007, leaving the BBC for ITV1 partway through the second run, however he avoided posing his usual confrontational questions. By his own reckoning, he has interviewed 2,000 of the world's celebrities. Parkinson was one of the original line-up of TV-am in 1983, with Angela Rippon, Anna Ford, David Frost and Robert Kee, all subsequently replaced with younger presenters within a matter of months. He also took over as host of Thames Television's Give Us a Clue from Michael Aspel. In 1985, he stood in for Barry Norman as presenter of Film 85. Between 1987 and 1988, Parkinson hosted 15 episodes of Parkinson One to One for Yorkshire Television, a series of interview programmes which continued in the style of his BBC talk show but with each episode dedicated to a single celebrity guest.
In 1971 Parkinson was nominated as a candidate for the position of Rector of the University of Dundee. In one of the closest ever contests for that position he was very narrowly defeated by incumbent Peter Ustinov after two recounts. The result was controversial as it was alleged earlier results indicated Parkinson had won and a further recount should have taken place to confirm the result. As a result, pressure grew for the poll to be rerun. While the University decreed that the original result was to stand a new poll was organised by the Students' Association, which also featured the candidature of a goat. However, this time Ustinov won a decisive victory over Parkinson, the goat and Paul Foot.
On Halloween 1992, Parkinson appeared as himself in the television drama Ghostwatch as the studio link during a fictional, apparently live, paranormal investigation, however, the cinéma vérité style in which it was shot led to complaints from viewers who believed it depicted real events. From 1995 to 1999, he hosted the BBC One daytime programme Going for a Song. He again played himself in Richard Curtis' 2003 romantic comedy, Love Actually, interviewing the character Billy Mack, played by Bill Nighy. From 31 January to 3 February 2007, Parkinson presented "Symphony at the Movies" at Sydney Opera House, where he shared stories about his interviews with movie stars and introduced music from films. In October 2003, Parkinson had a controversial interview with Meg Ryan while she was in the UK to promote In the Cut, calling it his most difficult television moment.
Between 1994 and 1996 he hosted Parkinson on Sport on BBC Radio Five Live. Between 1996 and 2007, he presented a morning show on BBC Radio 2 called Parkinson's Sunday Supplement; it featured newspaper and entertainment summaries with the help of journalists and a lengthy interview with a media personality. These were interspersed with music that demonstrated his penchant for jazz and big-band. In October 2007, a few months after announcing his retirement from his television series, Parkinson said his radio show would also end. The last programme was broadcast on Sunday 2 December 2007. As an interim Clive Anderson presented the programme during December/January and Eamonn Holmes during February and Fiona Bruce during March. Michael Ball replaced him until Terry Wogan moved to Sunday mornings to present Weekend Wogan. Parkinson presented a mid-morning programme on London's LBC Newstalk 97.3FM. He was considered responsible for promotion of jazz singers to a more mainstream audience during the run of his BBC radio show.
In 1999, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lincoln and he also received an honour from the University of Huddersfield in 2008. He was invested as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Prince Charles in November 2000 for services to broadcasting. Parkinson was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2008 New Year's Honours List; he remarked that he was "not the type to get a knighthood" coming as he did "from Barnsley. They give it to anyone nowadays."
Parkinson was ranked 8th in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals. In April 2006, Parkinson was awarded Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society (Trinity College, Dublin). He was voted number 20 in ITV's "TV's 50 Greatest Stars". On 4 June 2008 he was knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
On 18 December 2003 he addressed the second Bradman Oration in Brisbane.
In 2005, Parkinson appeared with comedian Peter Kay on the music video of the re-released "Is This the Way to Amarillo" for Comic Relief, which became a number-one single. Parkinson was also featured in Irregular Webcomic! Number 1697.
On 26 June 2007, Parkinson announced his retirement:
In 2007, Parkinson appeared in the Australian soap Neighbours as himself. On 24 November 2007, during recording of the final regular edition of his ITV chat show, broadcast on 16 December, Parkinson fought back tears as he was given an ovation. The last artist to perform on his show was regular guest Jamie Cullum. As of December 2008, Parkinson holds 458 credits as a presenter on his own and with others.
His book Parky: My Autobiography was published on 2 October 2008. In April 2009, Parkinson wrote about the recently deceased Jade Goody in the Radio Times. He described Goody as "barely educated, ignorant and puerile," adding, "When we clear the media smokescreen from around her death, what we're left with is a woman who came to represent all that's paltry and wretched about Britain today." Bishop Jonathan Blake, who had presided over Goody's wedding, took exception to Parkinson's comments.
On 29 September 2008 Parkinson launched his website, which includes online interviews with Nelson Mandela and British comedian Rory Bremner. The site also includes a blog, giving Parkinson's views on news events plus information about his compilation album, Michael Parkinson: My Life In Music, featuring favourite songs performed by Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Dionne Warwick and others.
On 11 November 2008, he became the first Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University; the role includes representing the university and conferring degrees at graduation ceremonies. Upon receiving the honour he said, "I am honoured to be offered the chancellorship at Nottingham Trent University. In television I have always worked with young, ambitious people and I am keen to be involved in this university which helps to realise the aspirations of the young. It will also give me an opportunity to see what I missed!". Parkinson has served as the President of the Sports Journalists' Association of Great Britain since 2005, the largest national organisation of sports journalists in the world.
In May 2009, Parkinson bemoaned the state of TV generally, saying he was "fed up of the rise of celebrities hosting shows, ridiculously-titled documentaries and property shows", saying "In my television paradise there would be no more property programmes, no more police-chasing-yobbos-in-cars programmes and, most of all and please God, no more so-called documentary shows with titles like My 20-Ton Tumour, My Big Fat Head, Wolf Girl, Embarrassing Illnesses and The Fastest Man on No Legs." On 11 October 2010, Parkinson appeared on Richard Bacon's Radio 5 Live show where he was particularly critical of comedian and actor Russell Brand, saying: "I don't see the point of him."
Parkinson gave the keynote address in Sydney on Australia Day 2011, the first non-Australian to do so. Parkinson used the publicity surrounding his Australia Day appearance to promote the abolition of the Australian monarchy.
Parkinson returned to hosting television in November 2012 with his new show Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts.
In 2013, Parkinson again criticised the course British television had taken, comparing series such as The One Show unfavourably with the broadcasting of the recently deceased Alan Whicker and David Frost, as well as claiming the "cult of youth" had "distorted the standards". Parkinson spoke fondly of the time when "producers were unencumbered by such irksome obstacles as compliance, health and safety and frustrating commissioning procedures". Alex Jones, presenter of The One Show, rejected Parkinson's criticism.
In August 2014, Parkinson was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.
Currently, Michael Parkinson is 87 years, 8 months and 6 days old. Michael Parkinson will celebrate 88th birthday on a Tuesday 28th of March 2023. Below we countdown to Michael Parkinson upcoming birthday.
Sir Michael Parkinson reveals why he's still not stopping come 83
ONE week shy of his 83rd birthday Sir Michael Parkinson shows no sign of slowing down.
Michael Parkinson: Oh lucky man!
Britain's most renowned interviewer is 75 today. He is first, last, and always, a journalist. And he doesn't much care for some of the stuff on TV these days. David Randall meets Michael Parkinson