Watch: Michael Parkinson revealed why his old TV voice embarrasses him now
Sir Michael Parkinson, the veteran broadcaster considered the king of British chat show hosts, has died aged 88, his family has told the BBC.
Parky was a familiar face on both the BBC and ITV because of his intimate celebrity interviews, most notably on the BBC show Parkinson, and for his northern accent.
In 2021 though, the presenter confessed he was embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances because he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.
The Yorkshireman, the son of a coal miner, got his big TV break as a young journalist when he was asked to do a screen test.
The famed chatshow host told Christine Lampard on Lorraine: "The big break came in '61/62 when Granada Television in Manchester, a wonderful company to work for in those days, asked me to do a screen test, and I did and I look now with terrible embarrassment at the way I used to speak."
Mimicking his old screen voice he went on: "I was terribly posh, 'Hello, how are you?'
"I don't know where I got that from – nobody in my family or immediate friends spoke like that at all, quite the opposite. But there I was – terribly posh."
Lampard laughed: "Once you're on the telly you have to be posh!"
In 2021, Parkinson was celebrating his career with a new documentary, Parkinson At 50 which aired on BBC One.
Speaking about watching his old shows back, he said: "I find it difficult when people ask the question ‘What was your favourite show?’.
"There are just so many, I mean, how many did we do? Hundreds.
“They weren’t made to be shows that you would look back on forever, I mean, they were of their time.
“I don’t wander around wishing there were a library of my shows. I don’t do that at all, I don’t feel that way.
“I am just very happy to have survived the ordeal.”
Parkinson had recently offered an olive branch to When Harry Met Sally star Meg Ryan for a notoriously difficult interview he did with the Hollywood actor on his chat show 18 years ago.
After being accused of not enjoying fame, Ryan eventually snapped to the host: ”Wrap it up.”
He told the Radio Times: “I wish I hadn’t lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I’d dealt with it in a more courteous manner. I was quite 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.”
Watch: Sir Michael Parkinson's infamous interview with Meg Ryan