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.
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.
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.