Talk Show Supremo Bows Out

Article excerpt

Byline: By Karen Price Western Mail

While Michael Parkinson fought back tears as he brought down the curtain on his talk show career, one TV critic believes it is not the last viewers will see of him.

The chat show legend filmed his last programme this week with his "wish list" of guests, including David Beckham, Sir Michael Caine, Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Edna Everage, Billy Connolly, Peter Kay and Jamie Cullum.

The two-hour special will be shown on ITV1 on December 15.

Parkinson, who has been hosting his own talk show since 1971, told the audience, "I was told to pick a wish list and I put down these names and every single one of them is here."

As the recording came to a close, he said, "Over the years it has been a privilege to meet some of the most intelligent and interesting people. It has always been a great joy and I shall miss it."

He appeared visibly moved as he was given a standing ovation and the cameras stopped rolling.

But Elaine Penn, of TV Choice magazine, believes Parkinson, nicknamed Parky, will be back.

She said, "He is the sort of person who I think will be tempted back to do one-off interviews with topical people.

"I don't think it's the last we have seen of him."

She says that while Parkinson has been "a legend in his own lunchtime" many other presenters have been "snapping at his heels" for a while, including Jonathan Ross.

"Jonathan Ross has taken the chat show and turned it on its head really, but Parkinson is definitely going out on a high."

Parkinson, the son of a miner, is giving up his Saturday-night talk show after more than four decades.

He moved from the BBC to ITV in 2004 after the BBC tried to move his show to make way for Match Of The Day.

A number of Welsh celebrities have been grilled by Parkinson over the years, including Tom Jones and Paul Whitehouse. …