Last night was a magical, nostalgic trip down memory lane with youngest son Mike interviewing and sharing memories with his famous dad Sir Michael Parkinson.
From his early days of being terrified out of going underground as a miner in the Yorkshire coal fields by his father and accompanying his mother (plus her knitting) to the cinema up to four times a week (igniting in him a life-long passion for Hollywood and its stars) and his enduring friendships with other local boys Dickie Bird OBE and Sir Geoffrey Boycott, Sir Michael delighted the audience with his stories and anecdotes of life before and during his TV fame.
We saw his very first television interview in 1963 (up and coming pop star Mick Jagger), along with personal memories and numerous clips of a who’s who celebrity extravaganza, including film stars of his youth such as James Cagney (who never gave interviews); Muhammad Ali, enraged by a question and having a terrifying rant at a visibly uncomfortable Parky. We saw him flirt outrageously with female stars from Raquel Welch to Miss Piggy. He was responsible not only for the new style chat show formula but also for promoting then-unknown stars of the future; Billy Connolly and Dame Edna Everidge. For two years, Peter Kay was his warm up man. The list of names is endless but the fact that Parkinson had the clout to bring famous American stars to him shows what an important entertainment show his was. His career spanned over 2,000 interviews.
By setting the stage as in the old TV shows with interviewer becoming interviewee, the now quite frail father is supported onstage by his son - their close relationship is genuinely touching, both relishing the relaying of stories from the past, enjoying one another’s company and giggling intimately together at the old clips.
Parky may be almost eighty four years old but his zest to share and enjoy relaying stories from his fascinating life is undiminished. His famous Barnsley brogue transports you back to family Saturday night viewing of the past - his humour, warmth and personality make his stage show an evening to remember.