Watch: Michael Parkinson reveals why his old TV voice embarrasses him now
Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances because he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.
The 86-year-old 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!"
Sir Michael is to celebrate his career with a new documentary, Parkinson At 50, due to air this weekend 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.”
Sir Michael 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