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Michael Parkinson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (29)  | Personal Quotes (65)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Cudworth, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, UK
Nicknames Parky
The King of Chat
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Michael Parkinson was educated at Barnsley Grammar School. He left at the age of 16 and his ambition of becoming a professional cricketer was dashed when he was rejected by Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He turned to journalism, worked on several local newspapers in Yorkshire before joining the Manchester Guardian. Michael covered all sorts, from chip pan fires in Oldham to political conferences. He joined the Observer to write about sport and became a columnist with The Sunday Times.

His first work in television was as a current affairs producer at Granada Television. He joined the BBC as a reporter for "24 Hours". In 1969 he became the presenter of Granada's Cinema series. In 1971 he presented Thames Television's regular afternoon show, Teabreak. The BBC decided to give the still relatively young broadcaster his own evening chat show, "Parkinson", the same year. With his working class accent, Michael Parkinson was a breath of fresh air and over the next 11 years he interviewed many of the leading celebrities of the time.

The programme established him as one of the best known faces on television, and his fame resulted in his writing for the first edition of the British Cosmopolitan Magazine and his appearance with Jon Pertwee on the front of the Radio Times. His relaxed chat show was axed in 1982. Parkinson moved to ITV and became part of the Famous Five that launched TV AM. In 1998 the BBC resurrected "Parkinson" and the ageing presenter found himself back on prime-time. He presents his own show on BBC Radio 2, during which he plays much of his beloved jazz music. He maintains notoriety for his outspoken comments about other television personalities, the Government and the state of British sport. Michael currently claims he will retire before he's 70 and set about writing the book of his life.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Mary Parkinson (22 August 1959 - present) ( 3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Comfy furniture set

Trivia (29)

As well as being a popular celebrity and familiar face on British television, he also works regularly on BBC Radio.
On 24 November 2000, he was presented with the CBE by Prince Charles for "outstanding services to broadcasting".
In 1973, he was photographed with Doctor Who (1963) star Jon Pertwee, pop singer and actor Paul Jones and actress Vanessa Miles for the front cover of the Radio Times. He also revealed in an interview in the same issue that he was a keen follower of the science-fiction series.
He loves sport, particularly cricket and football.
He was famously wrestled to the ground by Rod Hull's Emu during an interview.
He played golf with Terry Wogan. Wogan's talk show, Wogan (1982), actually replaced Parkinson (1971) as the BBC's main talk show.
In 1972, he was interviewed in the first issue of the British Cosmopolitan Magazine. The article was entitled 'The most beautiful thing a man can do for a woman'.
He appears on the cover of Paul McCartney's 1973 album "Band on the Run".
He is based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in England. In 2001, he became the landlord of the Royal Oak public house in Paley Street, Berkshire.
He is the father of Michael Parkinson and father-in-law of Fiona Allen.
He was called up for National Service in 1955 and took part in the Suez operation. At the age of 19, he became the youngest Captain in the British Army.
He memorably panned Paul Verhoeven's Flesh+Blood (1985) in his stint as a film reviewer standing in for Barry Norman.
He was presented with the Music Industry Trusts' Award in 2005 for his outstanding contribution to the British music industry.
The October 2003 appearance of episode of American movie star Meg Ryan on Parkinson's chat show has become part of British television history due to the actress's bizarre behavior in which she gave only one word answers to questions and stared icily at the host. Ryan appeared on the program to promote her erotic thriller, In the Cut (2003), but refused to answer Parkinson's questions about the drastic change from her typical romantic comedy roles. At one point Parkinson said in exasperation, "What would you do now if you were me?" to which Ryan replied, "Why not wrap it up?" About the televised debacle, Parkinson later said that Ryan was his "most difficult TV moment." He felt her rude behavior toward his fellow guests, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, whom she deliberately turned her back on, was unforgivable. Parkinson said, "I should have closed it. But listen, it happens. She was an unhappy woman. I felt sorry for her. What I couldn't forgive her for was that she was rude to the other guests." In a 2006 interview with "Marie Claire" magazine, Ryan blamed Parknson's paternal manner for the failure of the interview. Ryan said, "I don't even know the man. That guy was like some disapproving father! It's crazy. I don't know what he is to you guys, but he's a nut. I felt like he was berating me for being naked in the movie. He said something like: 'You should go back to doing what you were doing'. And I thought, are you like a disapproving dad right now? I'm not even related to you. Back off, buddy. I was so offended by him." Ryan also underscored the difference between American and British TV interviewing styles. "I realized it's not like an American talk show where it's seven minutes and then there's a commercial break. I had to do 20 minutes straight with this guy, and I could either walk off - which wouldn't be good - or try to disagree with him very respectfully.".
He famously dedicated a whole episode of Parkinson (1971) to an interview with George Michael following the singer's arrest for lewd conduct in America in 1998.
He is a big fan of the singer Rod Stewart.
Woody Allen accused him of having a "morbid interest" in his private life and rejected questions about the custody battle for his children during his appearance on Parkinson (1971) in 1999.
He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honors List for his services to broadcasting.
His favorite Elton John song is "Rocket Man".
He was awarded Knighthood of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 Queen's New Years Honors List for his services to broadcasting.
One of the first celebrities he interviewed was Laurence Olivier on Cinema (1964).
His favorite episode of Parkinson (1971) was his interview with Jacob Bronowski.
He has named Orson Welles as the most fascinating, articulate, witty and charismatic show business guest he interviewed.
He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to television culture.
He is a keen supporter of jazz performers such as Michael Bublé, Peter Cincotti, Diana Krall and Jamie Cullum.
He was named as the first Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University on 12th June 2008.
He is a celebrity supporter of the Orchid Cancer Appeal in the United Kingdom.
Prior to his notorious interview with Meg Ryan in 2003, he always claimed that his worst-ever interviewees were Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould in 1973.

Personal Quotes (65)

If you can't do your job, television shows you up terribly.
I like being interviewed. It doesn't happen often enough, actually - I don't get asked enough. It's power without responsibility.
Women have it much tougher than men in this game. A 65-year-old woman with as many lines on her face as I have would not be considered for anything except a doormat - and that's sad.
There comes a time when you have been around for so long that you become like a well-worn, well-loved object on the mantelpiece.
I have the best job in the world and once you have a show named after yourself, where else do you go?
For God's sake, there are still those in the fight game who will tell you that Muhammad Ali's present pitiful state has nothing to do with the noble art.
If the government knew or cared about sport it would stop schmoozing like star-struck fans and start banging a few heads. Fat chance.
We are a nation of losers. (On the state of British sport)
I've always wanted to have my own pub. I have spent so much time in pubs over the years that I thought it might be cheaper to buy one.
(Frequent quote, re Rod Hull and Emu): "That bloody bird!"
Sinatra (Frank Sinatra) was the one that got away. Otherwise, I've met everyone I have ever wanted to meet.
The currency of being a talk show host has been reduced over the years, that's for sure. They've experimented with talk shows involving the kind of people you wouldn't normally expect to be talk show hosts. They are working on the assumption that what I do for a living can be done by anybody in the street. I'm quite offended by that. And I'm quite agitated.
I don't like the way celebrity has invaded every area of TV. I'm disappointed with the way celebrities do the jobs that were once done by people like Alan Whicker and David Attenborough. Perhaps my views are a bit old fashioned - but there you go, that's how I feel.
Journalism is not meant to exist beyond the moment it endeavours to explain. Its only other purpose is to provide the wrapping for fish and chips.
I believe in the BBC. The BBC is an important institution. It's done more for British culture than any other organization.
My show's a very old-fashioned show. It's about interviews - it's not about being smart.
I've dried up many times. The worst was when I couldn't remember John Wayne's name. After that I put the guest's name on the crib sheet. Isn't that awful?
I'd watch a talk show which I thought would be a serious contender, which means I don't watch many! Take Melinda Messenger or Ian Wright for example. I hate this assumption that talk shows are to be given to anybody who has a moment of fame, that offends me. It's not rocket science and it ain't Nobel Prize winning time, but there are certain things you must do before you are allowed to have one. You have to learn how to ask a question, listen, then ask a follow-up question. I don't blame the people themselves, I blame studio bosses for putting them there. Instead of getting people who can do the job, they want people with plastic boobs or who have played football, for Christ's sake! It makes me angry. I'm not being pompous, but it reduces the currency of what I do. A golden rule for anyone asked to do a talk show is this: If you go into a studio and rely on somebody else to give you the questions, don't go through with it, because you'll make yourself look a total, utter pillock. That's where they all fall down. You can see the poor buggers are told what to ask, the questions are written all over the studio on cue cards. It just doesn't work. My show proves there are still people out there who want to watch a good chat show. And I didn't need a face lift or my boobs adjusted to do it.
We were lucky in the 1970s because the Hollywood studio system had collapsed and the great stars, who had hitherto only existed as 10 meter giants on the silver screen, came down to earth.
In the summer of 1971 there was a gap in the BBC schedules, about eight weeks to cover. In situations like this, TV bosses think "talk show", it's cheap, cheerful, expendable. So they gave us an eight show stint and we fooled them, we just kept on going.
People like Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross don't do talk shows. Theirs are comedy shows, which they are very good at, but their guests are foils for their humor. I don't see anybody coming up to do my kind of show. The industry has decided to go for the 16 to 34-year-olds, who want something different. It misses out an awful lot of older people. (Speaking in 2005)
I don't need telling by anybody if I have done a good, bad or indifferent interview - I know. My worst was with the monosyllabic Meg Ryan in October 2003. I don't know what was wrong with her. Perhaps she was under stress. In the dressing room before the show she said I could ask her anything, but that patently wasn't true. She certainly didn't want to talk about her film In the Cut (2003), which was terrible. Nor did I like her very much. She arrogantly sat with her back to the other guests. But I'd certainly have her on the show again. We have unfinished business. Then there was Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) in 1999, who wouldn't come unless his answers were scripted. Here was this great comedian who turned out to be a total slave to the autocue. It was only the second scripted interview I've done. Frankie Howerd was the first. Everyone called him a great improviser, but he even had every 'um' and 'ah' written in his answers on the autocue. It was awful.
We did a 70- to 80-minute show with Duke Ellington which the BBC put out in its entirety. Can you see that happening now? They'd say 'Duke who?' Not just the BBC but ITV, any of them. 'Duke who? Can you get David Beckham on with him? Charlotte Church singing maybe?' Ah, the decline of British television. In the 70s when I first started, I would have on as regular guests Oscar Peterson, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich - Duke Ellington was there. All were acceptable in those days. No one would raise an eyebrow and say 'Why are you not having the top of the pops on?' Nowadays if you suggest somebody like that, they say 'Ooh I don't know ... who? What's he done?' It's sad. There's a generation of people running broadcasting, running television particularly, nowadays who have no musical culture beyond that which exists in the top 10. Everything has got to be so geared towards commercial interests nowadays - commercial success. Everything has to be copper-bottomed in their view. Well now and again you've got to take a punt on things, I think, that's what we're there for. (Speaking in 2007)
He was the most glorious athlete I'd ever seen. He was a total one-off. He could be extraordinarily rude and arrogant, but also childlike, funny and mischievous. A difficult man to know, but I loved him in all his moods. I went in with him four times and I lost on every occasion, and I wouldn't have missed a moment of it. (On Muhammad Ali)
Rex Harrison told me that he wouldn't talk about his ex-wives, and I said, 'Rex, you've been married six times. That's going to leave a pretty big gap'. He said 'Yes, I suppose you're right, dear boy'.
To talk to people who'd flown missions over Germany as well as played Hamlet was to deal with a different creature. There was a hinterland, a background, a testimony to having lived a life other than that bounded by the proscenium arch. That's what made the Seventies so rich for me. Today, it's different. Not worse, just different. There are the big stars but in the main, they don't have the texture. They didn't go through a war. And thank God for that. (Speaking in 2007)
I grew up in an era of entrepreneurial men, like the Bernsteins and the Grades. As journalists, we had a basic training in communication but we had to learn the new medium of television without any focus groups, without any instruction books or graphs, only the goodwill of the people who employed us. They gave us the money, sat back and said: 'Let's see what happens.' They didn't interfere. Now everyone knows everything. That's the way they have to do it. It's a much tougher commercial business. But I tell you, it's not as much fun. Whether or not it's better, I don't care. The kids nowadays won't have the fun I had. (Speaking in 2007)
When I started there were two television channels. Look at it now. Nobody knows where it's going, nobody knows what its future is, nobody knows, in a sense, even what its present is. It is a confusing world and I don't like being confused. I don't like that at all. (Speaking in 2007)
Letterman (David Letterman), Leno (Jay Leno) and Carson (Johnny Carson) couldn't interview their way out of a paper bag, but they are wonderful stand-up comics.
When the BBC asked me to do it again, I said there was only one way I wanted to do it. I'd seen all the shows that had replaced mine, and I hadn't approved of the way the talk show had gone. It was like most TV - gimmicky, very loud, vulgar, disjointed and totally incomprehensible. It had become a vehicle for the interviewer and not for the person they were interviewing.
My show has always been different, because it's journalistically based. It's not a variety show, like Des O'Connor, and it's not Gloria Hunniford or Michael Aspel. They were good shows but not journalistically based, and so their range of material was narrower than ours.
I look at the old shows and think: 'Who thought that was any good?' The way we looked, for God's sake. Ruddy great trouser bottoms and we thought we were Jack the Lad. And I wasn't a particularly convincing interviewer, either. I was very stiff. I thought I was a proper journalist, you see. I was trying to behave like a proper journalist in a showbiz situation. The trick was accepting that I was part of the showbiz aspect, too. I came to say it was like interviewing while tap-dancing. But it took a while to understand that. (On the early episodes of Parkinson (1971))
ITV was in trouble and still is. It was a very unhappy building to be in. I didn't want to spend the last days of a very enjoyable career in a place that was as depressed as that was. (On finishing Parkinson (1971) in 2007)
He was an exceedingly interesting and fascinating man, who could speak for an hour without using a cliché. (On Orson Welles)
Jade Goody has her own place in the history of television and, while it's significant, it's nothing to be proud of. Her death is as sad as the death of any young person, but it's not the passing of a martyr or a saint or, God help us, Princess Diana. When we clear the media smokescreen from around her death, what we're left with is a woman who came to represent all that's paltry and wretched about Britain today.
In the seventies the BBC was a much different organisation from nowadays. For one thing there were a lot of Indians about but not too many chiefs, and the people who ran the organisation - Paul Fox was Controller One, David Attenborough, head of programmes, Bill Cotton, head of light entertainment, Bryan Cowgill, head of sport - have their own special place in the television Hall of Fame. They presided over the biggest television factory on earth and the most prestigious. When I was in Israel for the Six Day War, I discovered my official accreditation came a poor second to my BBC Club card in the matter of impressing people and opening doors. It was the time of massive audiences, only three channels and an industry created by a remarkable generation of men and women. Much of what they see and hear on television now must make them cringe.
I object to the exploitation of the underclass in shows like Big Brother (2000). It is the modern version of Bedlam, where you pay to see the poor benighted people making asses of themselves. Why do people find The Apprentice UK (2005) appealing? When Sir Alan (Alan Sugar) says 'You're fired,' that is not a nice thing to happen. The basic premise is not worthwhile, or enthralling.
In my television paradise there would be no more property programmes, no more police-chasing-yobbos-in-cars programmes and, most of all and please God, no more so-called documentary shows with titles like 'My 20-Ton Tumour', 'My Big Fat Head', 'Wolf Girl', 'Embarrassing Illnesses' and 'The Fastest Man on No Legs'.
You have to go back to the dear departed days of Huw Wheldon and Monitor (1958) to find a talent able to present a documentary about Billy Connolly one week and Francis Bacon the next with both joy and authority. More importantly, the BBC is the only organisation left able to accommodate the budget of The South Bank Show (1978). Whatever happens, Bragg (Melvyn Bragg) has already assembled a body of work that will be revisited many times, both as a treasure trove of cultural icons and a reminder of a time when television made programmes for an audience reckoned to have an IQ larger than the numbers you would find in a bingo bag.
I think the talk show, as a conversational performance between two people, has gone. What you have now is the American style, where you have the host who is a more important part of the show than the guest. It's his cleverness, his wit and humour that steer the show. When it's well done, it's wonderful. But it's not what I can do, nor what I want to do. It's down to the way television is run nowadays, and don't get me going on that one.
I lived a substantial part of my affair with football in the company of Bobby Robson. I saw him as a player with Fulham and West Brom and reported his triumphs as a manager at Ipswich. The Cobbold brothers who ran Ipswich were civilised people with a philosophy that football was a game first and a business second and must be enjoyed and celebrated with wine and merrymaking. The media were invited to the party and everyone had a good time. That's when I got to know him and admire him. He was betrayed by a game he loved which changed character and ethos during his lifetime. The spivs, the get-rich-quick kids, the chancers took over, leaving people like Bobby Robson perplexed and dismayed. But Robson will be remembered long after the present lot are old bones. By his decency, his humour, his love of the game's traditions and origins, and confusion at what it had become, he made present day football look what it is - shabby by comparison. I can think of no more fitting epitaph.
[on the death of Tony Curtis] Some Like It Hot (1959) is one of the greatest comedies of all time. Billy Wilder did not suffer fools so for Tony Curtis to work with him and make that film shows just how good he was. He was an extraordinary man. Hollywood tried to make him into a sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s but he was his own man. He was a great chat-show guest and was wonderfully indiscreet but he was very bright and did not take himself too seriously,
[on Russell Brand] I don't see the point of him. He doesn't make me laugh. I don't think his style of talking is particularly beautiful, funny or creative. Not at all.
Do I like them? Oh you know...Better than that bloody rap stuff, that's for sure. (On the Arctic Monkeys)
My favourite is Mel Tormé and George Shearing's "Pick Yourself Up". That, to me, is the joy of music. It must be wonderful to be as creative and happy as that. Most artists aren't, are they?'
He said to me: "If you talk about The Beatles, you'll have to climb inside a sack." I said, "Why do I have to do that?" He said, "Don't ask me, ask her," referring to Yoko. Very strange lady. Anyway, I asked him about the Beatles and we got into this sack. As we were both smoking at the time, I remember thinking, "This must look like we're sitting in a bloody tepee." (On interviewing John Lennon in 1971)
Someone once described it as 'a suite' of songs but that's too polite for the anger that drives this, the most powerful of concept albums. Time magazine described it as Motown's most important LP. It is also permanent testament to a great artist. (On "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye)
This is from the Lady in Satin album, her last before she died, and 'But Beautiful' is a great singer's swansong. The trumpet by Mel Davis is so powerful it sounds like his tribute to a diva like no other. (On "But Beautiful" by Billie Holiday)
The Nelson Riddle/Sinatra albums are masterpieces and will last so long as people listen to music. Sinatra (Frank Sinatra) was the greatest singer of the Great American Songbook there has ever been.
When anyone asks why I love big band music I tell them to listen to this. If they still don't know I cross them off my Christmas card list. Pete Myers's arrangement of Cole Porter's classic song is perfect. Plus, there's Buddy Rich on drums. (On "Love For Sale" by the Buddy Rich Big Band)
Who is he? His pitch is appalling. It was like Tony Christie with his teeth taken out. (On Richard Hawley)
I don't like the people who are running television at present, actually. I don't like what they're doing with television. I see now a difference between celebrity and fame. I see different people getting to be on television who, in my view, have got no talent whatsoever. That may have been always the case but there's a predominance now of that kind of thinking, which is kind of tabloid thinking in a sense, and I think that it's doing damage to all of us. It's about very skilful people manipulating the market. It's about a trend that's been set by clever people who work out a demographic, if you like, who look for an audience, particularly a younger audience - 16 to 34 - and go for that. I think that Simon Cowell is a classic example of what I'm talking about. Here's an extremely clever entrepreneur, that's what he is. He's a wonderful marionette, he has the puppets playing all underneath him, but he's dictating the shape and form of television in this country. It used to be that people who were versed in showbiz, people who were proper entrepreneurs, people who were proper showbiz people used to run that, and I trusted them more than I trust this lot. That's all I'm saying. Now it doesn't matter what I think because I'm out of it now and I can actually look down at the landscape from my view and say, 'I don't like what I see. It doesn't matter.' You know, that's OK. But it grieves me because I've been in this business for 50 years now and I love this business, and I've had some wonderful times in this business, and I hate to see it being downgraded to something else. (Speaking in 2010)
It's sad in a way because Jonathan (Jonathan Ross) can interview when he puts his mind to it. He's clever and bright, but has gone with the jokey thing. What's missing is the kind of show I did, which was more conversational.
[on Jimmy Savile] I never 'got' him - I didn't see the appeal. He would always lie about his age, so I dug up a copy of his birth certificate and would pin it on the noticeboard. He'd rip it down and I'd stick another one up. He came on my show as a guest once and was a prat. He was 'uninterviewable' - you could never see beyond his act. I was aware of the rumours at the time but they were just rumours. It's horrendous.
Most shows on the BBC and ITV chase ratings, sadly at the expense of talent. I wouldn't want to interview Cheryl or a winner of Big Brother - I'm interested in actual talent. I want to talk to people with something to say.
[on Meg Ryan] She snapped at me and then wouldn't speak. She was in a very bad place - a very unhappy woman promoting a terrible movie. I never watch any of my interviews back, but that's the one I can't avoid because it is all over YouTube.
[on Frank Sinatra] I tried for decades - he was the one guy I would have broken any rule for.
I've wanted to do a show like Parkinson: Masterclass for years, with proper musicians and artists - people at the top of their field but not necessarily celebrities - showing how they do what they do.
I knew Savile [Jimmy Savile]. I didn't much like him. That's not hindsight. I couldn't understand why he became so popular. But I'll make one observation about the BBC. The BBC got a kicking on that. But at least he had a reason for being at the BBC. He was employed by the BBC and he had to work there. What on earth was he doing, what was his reason to be at Broadmoor? What was his reason to be at Stoke Mandeville? What was his reason to be at the hospital in Leeds and, particularly, what reason did he have to go to a school? Come on. That's the worst aspect of it, I think. At least at the BBC he had to be there, he was employed by the BBC. But he was not a man who sought the company of people, with hindsight now, who couldn't help him. In those days, we didn't know he was being selective, we just thought he got his own gig and off he went to do it. Nobody ever got really close to him at all.
Sometimes I think that being paid to go to the movies is the definition of paradise and sometimes I sit there thinking, "What on earth am I doing watching this tripe?"
Television in the 60s and 70s was a thrilling and exhilarating business to be part of. There were few rules, focus groups had not been invented - or if they had they were generally ignored. The newly formed ITV stations were run by gifted entrepreneurs and the BBC by an adroit mix of showbiz and journalism. Producers were unencumbered by such irksome obstacles as compliance, health and safety and frustrating commissioning procedures. The biggest difference of all between then and now was defined ... by (former home secretary) David Blunkett when he described the 'worship' of the 'cult of youth' by modern TV bosses as 'an unstoppable fetish'. To indicate how much this obsession has distorted the standards set by the likes of Frost and Whicker, let us compare Tonight featuring Whicker, Fyfe Robertson, Cliff Michelmore, Trevor Philpott et al with its present-day equivalent. The One Show is an agreeable frolic but it's hardly a finishing school for a generation of television reporters. When you compare the kind of talk show David Frost developed with its modern counterpart you realise you are dealing with a vanished species. Why don't we have a daily, topical, irreverent magazine programme like Tonight? Where is the talk show that is not masquerading as a comic frivolity, and why since the 60s have we never produced anything as controversial, innovative and inspiring as TW3 (That Was the Week That Was)?
[on the police raid on Cliff Richard's home in 2014] I just think that it's wrong. I think anybody who's not charged should not be named by the police and shouldn't be reported in the newspapers either in my view. I think the Cliff Richard case only highlights the feeling that there's some kind of witch hunt going on. I think the BBC did create an error in judgement, not in understanding the story, not in having the story and trying to follow it through, but in reacting to the story in a kind of way that would have done the red-tops credit. It was the manner with which they chose to cover the event, if you can call it an event, so I think there's a lot to be looked at and a lot to be learned from Yewtree and from all that's been happening around that particular kind of area. I mean I live next door but one to Rolf [Rolf Harris] and the media were there before the police were there. It's not right, particularly as at that point he was not charged with anything. So I just feel that they should tread more softly and should be more considerate of everybody's feelings and claims and rights in this. Just step back a bit. Pursue people of course who've done wrong, that is indisputably the police's job. What I'm concerned about is the manner which they go about it and the manner in which the media follow through.
[on serious interviewing] It's gone. It's like jazz music, you can't hear it anymore. I'm sure there are some young eager beavers out there, men and women, who would do a very classic talk show, an interview programme, but nobody seems very interested.
[on the BBC] I was very lucky that when I was there it was run by programme makers... They were either very good journalists or very good at showbusiness. They weren't bureaucrats. Now it seems to me there are more bureaucrats than anything else. It shows in the broadcasting.
I have seen many wondrous things to justify my lifelong love, but have also been dismayed by the manner in which the simple game of my youth has been transformed from a rough-and-tumble working-class pastime to a plaything for the very rich. In 70 years of watching football, sometimes writing about it and now trying to analyze the evidence and make sense out of it all, I find it easier to explain its attraction to the child rather than define the growing doubts I nowadays have about a game I still love, but not like I once did. The main reason is you can list the advances made in modern football - the fitness, the technical ability of the players, the improved stadia, the global presentation and glamorization of the game as shown on TV - but what you can't claim is that the game is as much fun as it used to be.

Salary (1)

Parkinson (1971) £1,000,000 (2004)

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