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"Parkinson" (1971) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1971-2007


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Release Date:
4 January 2000 (USA) See more »
Talk show with celebrity guests.
4 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The golden chat show of the golden age See more (10 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 178)
Michael Parkinson ... Himself - Host / ... (322 episodes, 1971-2007)

Series Directed by
Stuart McDonald (6 episodes, 1998-2007)
Series Produced by
Beatrice Ballard .... executive producer (102 episodes, 1998-2004)
Richard Drewitt .... producer (2 episodes, 1975-1976)
John Fisher .... producer (2 episodes, 1978)
Danny Dignan .... assistant producer / producer (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Steven Lappin .... producer (2 episodes, 2004-2007)
Mark Wells .... executive producer (2 episodes, 2004-2007)
Series Original Music by
Harry Stoneham (1 episode, 1975)
Series Film Editing by
John Sillitto (2 episodes, 1982-2003)
Chris Wadsworth (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Production Design by
Louise Lusby (3 episodes, 1971)
Simon Kimmel (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Costume Design by
Lynda Wood (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Makeup Department
Christina Baker .... makeup designer (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Production Management
Garrie Mallen .... production manager (1 episode, 1998)
Stephen Abrahams .... production manager (1 episode, 1999)
Series Art Department
Bernard Heyes .... graphic designer / title sequence (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Bob Warans .... production buyer (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Sound Department
Tony Revell .... sound supervisor (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Finan .... camera operator (17 episodes, 2005)
Nigel Saunders .... camera supervisor (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Editorial Department
Ian Trill .... vision mixer (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Music Department
Laurie Holloway .... musical director (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Series Other crew
Bill Cole .... resources manager / studio resources manager (78 episodes, 1998-2004)
Chris Greenwood .... program consultant (2 episodes, 1998-1999)
Quentin Mann .... floor manager (2 episodes, 1998-1999)

Joanna MacDonnell .... floor manager (unknown episodes)
Series Thanks
Anthony Morris .... acknowledgment: film extracts courtesy of (1 episode, 1975)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

50 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG (some episodes) | Australia:M (some episodes)

Did You Know?

Although he interviewed Jimmy Savile several times, following the Savile sexual abuse scandal which erupted in 2012, Parkinson has said that he never liked him, never understood why he was popular and found him impossible to interview.See more »
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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
The golden chat show of the golden age, 23 March 2008
Author: matthew-58 from England

The 1970s was the golden age of British television for so many reasons, not least because it was a time when television executives still assumed their viewers were intelligent enough to watch somebody sitting in a chair and speaking at length, without the need for regular interruptions and jokes from the interviewer. Michael Parkinson, unlike today's chat show hosts, was not a comedian, he was a journalist, and his talent was simply for researching his subjects and showing an interest in what they had to say. The remarkable thing about Parkinson was the variety of the guests. His abilities as an interviewer meant that he was able to successfully deal with guests as different as raconteurs (Kenneth Williams, Peter Ustinov), poets (John Betjeman), authors (Leslie Thomas), musicians (Duke Ellington) and scientists (Jacob Bronowski). Parkinson never dominated the show, he was quite happy to let the guests do that. As a result, he gave British television its greatest chat show, a standard that most subsequent chat shows didn't even bother to attempt.

In the 1970s the big stars rarely gave interviews, there were three television channels and no videos, DVDs or Internet. Parkinson had provided a rare opportunity to see these people. Clearly, things could not be the same when, in 1998, the BBC decided to resurrect the series, 16 years since it had ended. A great deal had changed in television over that period. As the 1990s progressed, the talk show increasingly became the domain of comedians as hosts: Jonathan Ross, Clive Anderson, Frank Skinner and Graham Norton. As such, chat shows became more lightweight and more about the host than the guest. Also, with the explosion of the media in the 1980s and 1990s, another effect was the decline in the meaning of celebrity. The revival of Parkinson lasted for nearly ten years but, unfortunately, the show was dying a slow death, with the man all too often having to interview celebrities so minor that you couldn't have made them up in the 1970s: Trinny & Susannah, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Gordon Ramsay for examples. As hard as he tried, Parkinson could never convince me that he was as interested in these people as the great stars of the original series. I certainly wasn't.

In fairness, when he had a good guest he was still better than anyone else. One of his greatest abilities was to interview celebrities who are instinctively private and dislike the spotlight on themselves as subjects. He was better than anyone else at making these stars feel comfortable and able to talk, with Rowan Atkinson and Bobby Charlton being prime examples. I actually think that from what I have seen, only his contemporaries David Frost and Melvyn Bragg rival Parkinson in this regard.

Parkinson has now wrapped up his chat show. He has said himself that his show was the last survivor of the talk shows based on conversation. Now, all we have are the comedy shows based on the American format. In some ways it's a shame, in other ways it isn't. Most of the really fascinating stars are now dead or very, very old. Very few modern stars captivate the attention for very long, as Parkinson found in the last few years. Because even Parkinson couldn't make people interesting if they simply weren't.

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