Sir Michael Parkinson says his TV character was a ‘disguise’

Sir Michael Parkinson has admitted he doesn’t like watching his past interviews as he thinks his TV character is a ‘disguise’.

The broadcaster, 87, was a familiar face on television interviewing some of the world’s biggest stars on his talk show Parkinson, which aired periodically from 1971 until his retirement in 2007.

Appearing at the BBC Breakfast on Thursday to discuss his career and the release of his latest book, Sir Michael said he believed that no matter how well-aware anyone might be of celebrity issues, it “changed you”.

When asked if he was tired of watching his old TV clips, he said, “Absolutely, because I don’t recognize the person. It’s a disguise, it’s a disguise. All.

“You’re not yourself at all, it changes you, no matter how attentive you are to the issues of being famous, it changes you and it’s related.”

Asked how he thinks it can change someone, he continued: “Just people’s reaction to you and that sometimes makes you a worse person than you are.

“Writing never did that at all, writing challenges you all the time to do it right.”

Sir Michael has revealed he is more proud of the work he has done as a writer than as a presenter.

Speaking to hosts Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt, he said: “If you appear on TV like we do and you get famous and all that stuff, there’s a danger you could actually swallow it all. that and kind of thinking ‘this is what it’s all about’.

Sir Michael Parkinson has interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“If you’re going to write, it’s different, it’s much more difficult to be able to write well than to perform well on television.

“I know it’s a different thing, but from my perspective, I’m much more proud of what I’ve done as a writer than as a viewer.”

He added that there is an article in his new book My Sporting Life, which he co-wrote with his son Michael Parkinson Jr, about his late friend and England cricketer Fred Trueman which he would like to use as a reference. of his talent. .

“I think if I could justify myself as a writer, as a human being, that would be the thing I would give read this and tell me if you think that’s pretty good because if you do, I’m very happy,” he said. said.

File photo of Elon Musk
Elon Musk recently took over social media platform Twitter (Brian Lawless/PA)

Thinking about who he would like to interview now, he suggested billionaire Elon Musk, who recently took over social media platform Twitter, would be “interesting”.

During the hundreds of episodes of his talk show, he interviewed stars including David Bowie, John Lennon, Celine Dion and Muhammad Ali.

Sir Michael admitted his conversation with Ali was one time he felt he was losing the battle, saying: ‘Ali was impossible to interview, you couldn’t get near him at all.

“He would let you in so far, then the performance would start, the number would follow.

“It’s a shame because he was a brilliant man, he was able to support himself, there was no doubt about it. The sadness was that he was taken over by people who used him, they used him. actually misused.

He added: “On the other hand, I came to admire him a lot, especially towards the end where he carried this disease with a lot of courage, a lot of style and suddenly he became a man. different, kinder, if that were possible.

“But I did feel sorry for him because the pressure put on him by various parts of a propaganda war, if you will, was intolerable, I thought, and explained an awful lot about some of his behaviors. I mean, having met him as many times as I was an honor.

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