Chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson has died at the age of 88.
The British broadcaster passed away at his home on Wednesday night.
“After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family,” his family said in a statement to BBC News. “The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve.”
Parkinson, whose TV career spanned seven decades, is best known for hosting his eponymous chat show Parkinson, which originally ran on the BBC between 1971 and 1982. He relaunched the show in 1998 and it remained on the air until 2007.
The former journalist once estimated that he had interviewed more than 2,000 stars in total. His most high-profile guests include Sir Elton John, Madonna, Tom Cruise, and Muhammad Ali, who Parkinson once named as his favourite.
He previously described his uncomfortable conversation with a stony-faced Meg Ryan in 2003 as his most difficult TV moment.
Paying tribute, BBC director-general Tim Davie described Parkinson as “truly one of a kind, an incredible broadcaster and journalist who will be hugely missed”.
“Michael was the king of the chat show and he defined the format for all the presenters and shows that followed,” he continued. “He interviewed the biggest stars of the 20th Century and did so in a way that enthralled the public. Michael was not only brilliant at asking questions, he was also a wonderful listener.”
Parkinson’s other TV work included TV-am, Give Us a Clue, Going For a Song, and Michael Parkinson: Masterclass.
He was knighted in 2008.
The broadcaster was married to fellow TV presenter Mary Parkinson and they had three children.
Parkinson revealed in 2013 that he was being treated for prostate cancer and said he got the all-clear two years later.
– Cover Media