Sir Michael Parkinson is an English broadcaster, journalist and author. He is best known for presenting his long-running television talk show, Parkinson, from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007, as well as other talk shows and programmes both in the UK and internationally. He is also known as a radio broadcaster. He has been described by The Guardian as ‘the great British talkshow host’.
Parkinson was born in the village of Cudworth, Yorkshire, England. The son of a miner, he was educated at Barnsley Grammar School and passed two O-Levels: in Art and English Language. In later years he would often say that he positively hated being at school. He was a club cricketer, and both he and his opening partner at Barnsley Cricket Club, Dickie Bird, had trials for Yorkshire together with Geoffrey Boycott. He once kept Boycott out of the Barnsley Cricket team by scoring a century and 50 in two successive matches.
Parkinson began as a journalist on local newspapers, and his Yorkshire background and accent remain part of his appeal. He worked as a features writer for the Manchester Guardian, working alongside Michael Frayn, and later on The Daily Express in London. In the course of his two years’ National Service he was commissioned and became Britain’s youngest army captain. He served during the Suez Operation in November 1956.
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