Sir Michael Parkinson tells us about his forthcoming tour – coming to @TheBathForum
Sir Michael Parkinson is one of the best known faces on television. Having interviewed over 2000 of the most important cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries, the 83 year-old Barnsley native is taking to the road for his ‘An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson’ tour.
This unique show offers an intimate, entertaining and informative look at his remarkable journey from a pit village in Yorkshire to the top of those famous stairs, whilst reliving the best moments from a show that for many defined their Saturday night. Here, Sir Micheal tells us abouth the forthcoming tour, what he thinks of TV today and his proudest moment.
You are hosting ‘An Audience With Sir Michael Parkinson’ at The Forum, Bath on 21st December. Can you let us know what the audience can expect?
Well actually I’m co -hosting. The show is myself in conversation with son and long term Producer Mike who takes me though my life and career with the help of some classic clips from the Parkinson archive. It’s the story of how I made it out of a pit village to the top of those famous stairs with all the highs and low along the way in the company of Connolly, Ali, Lauren Bacall, Sir David Attenborough, Joan Rivers, Sir Michael Caine. Madonna, Dane Edna Everage to name but a few. It’s a great show which I love doing and If I wasn’t on stage I’d buy a ticket!
In your mind what is the role of the media in society?
I’ve never found a better description then the original mission statement of the BBC – to inform, educate and entertain.
Not one you would expect me to say. It was with the eminent scientist Professor Jacob Bronowski. He was the writer and presenter of that landmark book and television series The Ascent of Man. It was the one time that the shape and progression of the interview went exactly the way I had prepared. But that was more to do with Professor Bronowski’s perfect command of the English language and his forensic mind then my interviewing skills.
Once, when they were still with us, I sat down with Alan Whicker and David Frost, both of whom I liked and deeply admired, and we agreed to write down on a piece of the paper the worst interviewee we had all interviewed.
We then showed each other at the same time. Each of us had written down Thor Heyerdahl, the Norweigan anthropologist most famous for the Kon-Tiki expedition in the Pacific. We all agreed he would not be our first choice as a crewmate on a deep sea cruise
Top 3 songs ever written?
Too many. Here’s 3 that are near the top of my list. I’ve Got you Under my Skin by Cole Porter, sung by Frank Sinatra with the arrangement by Nelson Riddle. Summertime by George and Ira Gershwin, sung peerlessly by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Love for Sale, again by Cole Porter , played as an instrumental by the Buddy Rich Big Band
Proudest moment from your career?
Being awarded Honorary membership of the Musicians Union. Music has given me such joy in my life and my respect for anyone with musical talent knows no bounds. To be accepted into their inner circle without an ounce of musical talent is a real honour
What do you make of current British television?
Slick, brilliantly produced and full of talent yet sadly often soulless and derivative. I was lucky to come into television when I did.
Any advice for up and coming broadcasters/interviewers today?
It’s difficult to do so because the media environment they are coming into is not one I recognize nor to be honest understand. The only piece of advice I can give any aspiring interviewer is do your homework and listen.
Tickets for ‘An Evening With – Sir Michael Parkinson’ on Friday 21st December, at The Forum, Bath, are available from www.bathforum.co.uk or by calling 0844 888 9991. Doors: 7PM / Show: 7:30PM Tickets from £27.50 + Booking fees.