Sir Michael Parkinson: Legendary chat show host dies aged 88 following brief illness

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Sir Michael Parkinson’s career spanned decades, interviewing some the world’s biggest stars.

Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson has died at the age of 88 following a brief illness, his family has confirmed. His TV career spanned across seven decades and saw him interviewing some of the world’s biggest stars on his chat show.

A statement from Sir Michael’s 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.”

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His talk show ‘Parkinson’ saw the broadcaster interview some of the word’s biggest names, including  Billy Connolly, Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John, Madonna and Dame Helen Mirren. The chat show ran from 1971 to 2007 and had over 800 episodes.

The chat show initially ran on the BBC from 1971 to 1982. He relaunched the show on the BBC in 1998 before it moved to ITV in 2004, remaining on air until he retired the programme in 2007.

BBC director general Tim Davie led the tributes, describing Sir Michael as “truly one of a kind, an incredible broadcaster and journalist who will be hugely missed”.

“Michael was the king of the chat show and he defined the format for all the presenters and shows that followed,” Davie said.

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“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.”

Radio 4 presenter Nick Robinson said:“He was the greatest interviewer of our age who owned Saturday night TV for year after year.”

In 2013, the presenter revealed he was receiving radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer and got the all clear two years later.

Sir Michael was made a CBE in 2000 and was knighted in 2008.

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