Parkinson – 1971

Celebrating 50 years!

Yes it’s 50 years since Michael Parkinson hosted his first  chat show.

Over the years the chat show has been the main stay of television and their can be no chat show host more highly regarded than Michael Parkinson.

Beginning his career as a journalist and moving into television in the 1960’s, it was 1971 when he first hosted the show that would make him a household name.

Parkinson became prime time Saturday night viewing for nearly 30 years.  Starting it’s run on BBC1 in 1971 his first stint lasted until 1982.  In 1997 Parky returned to the BBC for another stint, which lasted until 2004 when he left the BBC for ITV.  The show finally came to an end in 2007 when he announced his retirement.


A typical show would include three interviews, each lasting around 15 minutes.

It was customary for the first two guests to remain after their own chats to observe and occasionally participate in those that followed. Such contributions were usually made respectfully, and when invited, though this policy backfired on occasion. In addition, some Hollywood stars were honoured in receiving a solo spot, Russell Crowe being one example.

On occasion, an episode featured a single guest for its entire duration if the subject was deemed to be sufficiently deserving. This was the case in 2005 when Madonna appeared as part of her Hung Up Promo Tour; besides her interview she performed two songs.

There was usually a musical interlude at some point, featuring a current recording star. If a solo singer, he/she was accompanied by the show’s musicians, who also provided the walk-on music for each guest. In the 1970s, the group was led by organist Harry Stoneham, who composed the show’s distinctive theme tune. The role was undertaken by Laurie Holloway in the relaunched show.










Starring: Michael Parkinson


BBC1 (1971 -1982 and 1997 – 2004)
ITV (2004 – 2007)

Original Transmission Dates:
BBC1: 19th June 1971 – 8th May 2004
ITV: 4th September 2004 – 22nd December 2007



Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.