Michael Parkinson believes his job as an interviewer would be 'difficult' today due to social media

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    Legendary broadcast journalist Sir Michael Parkinson believes his role as an in-depth talk show host would be ‘difficult’ these days.

    The 86-year-old TV star fronted Parkinson between 1971 to 2007, and two seasons of Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts in 2012 and 2013, chatting to an array of major names from the world of entertainment, sport and politics.

    Appearing on Lorraine on Wednesday, Parky insisted social media – and celebrities’ sharing everything they do on the likes of Instagram and Twitter – would render his role a little redundant.

    'People know anything there is to know already!' Legendary broadcast journalist Sir Michael Parkinson believes his role as an in-depth talk show host would be 'difficult' these days

    ‘People know anything there is to know already!’ Legendary broadcast journalist Sir Michael Parkinson believes his role as an in-depth talk show host would be ‘difficult’ these days

    ‘My job would be very different [now],’ he said. ‘There’s social media, so I don’t know what you would do, what the questions would be.

    ‘People know anything there is to know about everybody else, and what they didn’t want to know as well. So, it is a more difficult time now.’

    Of his heyday – which saw him sit down one-on-one, often for a whole hour, with the likes of Orson Welles, Madonna and David and Victoria Beckham – he went on: ‘I had the best of it, in terms of the guests I could choose from…

    ‘The older ones and the newer ones, and also the kind of television that was being shown in those days. It was bliss.’

    Icon: The 86-year-old TV star fronted Parkinson between 1971 to 2007, and two seasons of Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts in 2012 and 2013, chatting to an array of major names from the world of entertainment, sport and politics [pictured in 1987]

    Icon: The 86-year-old TV star fronted Parkinson between 1971 to 2007, and two seasons of Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts in 2012 and 2013, chatting to an array of major names from the world of entertainment, sport and politics [pictured in 1987]

    Speaking to Christine Lampard on Lorraine, he said: 'My job would be very different [now],' he said. 'There's social media, so I don't know what you would do, what the questions would be...'

    Speaking to Christine Lampard on Lorraine, he said: ‘My job would be very different [now],’ he said. ‘There’s social media, so I don’t know what you would do, what the questions would be…’

    Sir Michael still counts Sir Billy Connolly as one of his favourite guests, and he praised the comedian as ‘a natural funny man’.

    ‘Billy is a genius. He is the funniest man I ever met. He’s a natural funny man, and an intelligent man,’ he gushed. ‘I tried very hard to get it out of him about the abuse he’d had as a child. In the end he wrote a book about it.

    ‘There was a mystery about Billy, which I could only sense and then grew to understand. It made him even more interesting as a human being. He is a fascinating man.

    ‘I’ve interviewed some wonderful comedians, some of the best, and he was the best by far.’

    Legend: Of his heyday - which saw him sit down one-on-one, often for a whole hour, with the likes of Orson Welles [pictured in the 1970s], Madonna and David and Victoria Beckham - he went on to say, 'I had the best of it, in terms of the guests I could choose from...'

    Legend: Of his heyday – which saw him sit down one-on-one, often for a whole hour, with the likes of Orson Welles [pictured in the 1970s], Madonna and David and Victoria Beckham – he went on to say, ‘I had the best of it, in terms of the guests I could choose from…’

    Classic: In 1971, he spoke to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in one of his earliest episodes

    Classic: In 1971, he spoke to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in one of his earliest episodes

    Last week, Michael touched upon his legendary interview with actress Meg Ryan, who appeared on Parkinson in 2003.

    18 years on, he has now apologised for their car crash encounter and confessed to being ‘angry and pompous’ with her at the time.

    Sir Michael clashed with the Hollywood star when talking about her poorly reviewed film In The Cut. Meg, now 59, replied to his questions with one-word answers and ended up telling him to ‘wrap it up’.

    Pals: Sir Michael still counts Sir Billy Connolly as one of his favourite guests, and he praised the comedian as 'a natural funny man' [pictured together in 1987]

    Pals: Sir Michael still counts Sir Billy Connolly as one of his favourite guests, and he praised the comedian as ‘a natural funny man’ [pictured together in 1987]

    While Sir Michael has always claimed the actress was ‘rude and difficult’, he has admitted he did not react in the right way.

    ‘I wish I hadn’t lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I’d dealt with it in a more courteous manner,’ he told Radio Times in a recent chat. ‘I was obviously angry with her and it’s not my business to be angry towards the guests.

    ‘I came across as kind of pompous and I could have done better.’ 

    In hindsight: Sir Michael has apologised to Meg Ryan for their car crash encounter and confessed to being 'angry and pompous' at the time [pictured in 2003]

    In hindsight: Sir Michael has apologised to Meg Ryan for their car crash encounter and confessed to being ‘angry and pompous’ at the time [pictured in 2003]

    Meg Ryan in October 2020

    18 years later: ‘I wish I hadn’t lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I’d dealt with it in a more courteous manner,’ he told Radio Times in a recent chat [Meg is pictured in 2019]

    Asked what he would say to her now, he replied: ‘I’m sorry. But you played a part in it too. Neither of us were on top form.’ 

    Sir Michael was called a ‘sexist old fart’ by Helen Mirren after a 1975 interview.

    He introduced the actress, then 30, as the ‘sex queen’ of the Royal Shakespeare Company and asked if her ‘equipment’ distracted audiences. He has since said that the interview was ‘of its time’.

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