Britain’s Michael Parkinson, the “king” of the talk show, has died at the age of 88
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Britain’s Michael Parkinson, the “king” of the talk show, has died at the age of 88

Michael Parkinson has been called the “king” of the talk show. His family told the BBC he died “peacefully” on Wednesday night after a short illness.

‘Barky’, as he was often called, was a familiar face on British television, with his intimate interviews with celebrities, notably on his BBC show Parkinson’s, which was first broadcast in June 1971. The success was immediate. The show was revived in 1998, and it instantly became hugely popular again.

He said that he has interviewed 2,000 celebrities throughout his career.

Memories of his meeting with boxer Muhammad Ali. Michael Parkinson said he was “the most impressive human being I have ever met”.

He also entertained actors Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Orson Welles, Fred Astaire and members of the royal family, such as Princess Anne. In 2000, he interviewed footballer David Beckham, actress Judi Dench.

He grew up in a mining village in the north of England. When he was a teenager, his father, a miner, took him to the bottom of the mine to dissuade him from working there. Michael Parkinson started his career as a print media journalist.

Queen Elizabeth II knighted him at Buckingham Palace in 2008.

Once his death was announced, tributes in the United Kingdom doubled. The BBC’s Director General, Tim Davie, paid tribute to the “fantastic broadcaster and journalist” who “set the format for all the presenters and shows that followed”.

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