Tributes pour in for broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson following his death

Tributes pour in for broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson following his death
Michael Parkinson's classic 'Goldenballs' interview with David and Victoria Beckham

Sir Michael Parkinson, one of the country’s most celebrated broadcasters and talk show hosts, has died at the age of 88, his family told the BBC.

A statement from his family said: “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.”

The television broadcaster has been remembered as the “king of the chat show” with a career spanning seven decades.

He is perhaps best known for his eponymous talk show, Parkinson, during which he interviewed an estimated 2,000 famous guests, including the boxer Muhammad Ali, footballer George Best and comedian Sir Billy Connolly.

Tributes from across the world of TV and beyond have poured in for the “titan of television”.

BBC broadcaster Nick Robinson wrote on X: “He was the greatest interviewer of our age who owned Saturday night TV for year after year.”

Comic Matt Lucas, said: “Sir Michael Parkinson was a titan of television, the ultimate chat show host. We’ll never forget his brilliant interviews with Muhammad Ali, Dame Edna, Billy Connolly and, of course, ‘that bloody emu’.”

Dara Ó Briain praised the “consummate pro” that Parkinson was, writing: “I had the privilege of doing the Michael Parkinson show 3 times and it the most I ever felt like I was in ‘proper showbiz’. He was a consummate pro on-screen, and generous and encouraging off-screen.”

Actor Eddie Izzard wrote: “Very sad to hear that Michael Parkinson has left us. He was the king of the intelligent interview.”

The director-general of the BBC paid tribute to Sir Michael Parkinson as “the king of the chat show” and an “incredible broadcaster and journalist”.

In a statement, Tim Davie said: “Michael was the king of the chat show and he defined the format for all the presenters and shows that followed.

“He interviewed the biggest stars of the 20th century and did so in a way that enthralled the public. Michael was not only brilliant at asking questions, he was also a wonderful listener.

“Michael was truly one of a kind, an incredible broadcaster and journalist who will be hugely missed.”

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