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Parkinson (TV Series 1971–2007) Poster

(1971–2007)

Trivia

The series finished in 1982 and was replaced as the BBC's prime time talk show by Wogan (1982) for over a decade. However, it returned to the BBC in 1998.
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The first series of the show, including interviews with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Peter Ustinov, Benny Goodman, Spike Milligan and Orson Welles, was wiped on the orders of a BBC committee. All that survives of the first series is a monochrome telerecording of his interview with Shirley MacLaine.
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In 1978, Michael Parkinson and his producer, John Fisher, proposed changing the series into a five-night-a-week series as a replacement for the current affairs series Tonight (1975), which was producing disappointing ratings. Although this proposal was supported by BBC One Controller Bill Cotton, the Managing Director of Television Alasdair Milne and the Director-General of the BBC, Ian Trethowan, the BBC's Board of Governors objected to it, considering it a "trivialisation of the airwaves" because Parkinson's series had always been made by the BBC's light entertainment department and was therefore judged as an unsuitable replacement for Tonight (1975). The proposal had also been opposed by the National Union of Journalists and politicians such as Dennis Skinner.
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Only once did Parkinson present a programme without wearing a tie, which was his interview with Richard Burton in 1974. Following the broadcast, BBC controller Paul Fox told him that if he did it again he would be fired.
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Parkinson said only two interviews were scripted. The first was with Frankie Howerd, the second was with Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G.
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Parkinson revealed that Barbra Streisand was never interviewed because she insisted on setting the questions and that the interview would have to take place in America.
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Frank Sinatra was the guest that Parkinson always wanted to get on the show but never could.
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Parkinson interviewed two of the actors to play the Doctor in the Doctor Who television series. These were Third Doctor Jon Pertwee in 1980 and Tenth Doctor David Tennant in 2007.
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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.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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