Sir Michael Parkinson has been remembered as “one of the Northern lads” whose switch from information to gentle leisure was the results of his “good looks, personable manner and ready wit”.
Dame Maureen Lipman, Sir Rod Stewart, Sir David Attenborough and former cricket umpire Dickie Bird, had been amongst these paying tribute to the celebrated chat present host following his demise.
Sir Michael died peacefully at residence on the age of 88 “after a brief illness” and “in the company of his family” on Wednesday night time.
Known as Parky, he interviewed a few of Hollywood’s largest names all through his illustrious profession, although remained firmly grounded in his northern roots.
Sir Michael turned a well-recognized face on each the BBC and ITV due to his intimate superstar interviews, most notably on BBC present Parkinson which first aired on June 19 1971.
It loved a profitable run till 1982 earlier than being revived by the BBC in 1998 and proving once more to be an instantaneous hit.
The present switched to ITV1 in 2004 and ran till 2007 – the identical 12 months Sir Michael retired from his Sunday morning Radio 2 programme.
In an announcement shared with the PA information company, Dame Maureen mentioned her husband, the late playwright Jack Rosenthal, had identified Sir Michael from his days at Granada TV.
“He was one of the Northern lads for whom Granada was an extension of university. His transfer to light entertainment was a result of his good looks, personable manner and ready wit,” she mentioned.
“He often drank in the Stables bar with our theatre company and George Best and other actors.”
Dame Maureen appeared on Parkinson in addition to considered one of his early episodes of Desert Island Discs, which he hosted briefly from 1986.
“I appeared on his chat show a couple of times and he was brilliant because he gave you time,” Dame Maureen informed PA.
“You weren’t sitting on a settee with a number of different individuals and you could possibly really communicate with out having to be scatalogically hilarious or play foolish buggers.
“He will be missed and rightly celebrated.”
Sir David Attenborough, 97, remembered Sir Michael as a “proud Yorkshireman”, including in an announcement to PA that “he was beyond region or class – he was himself”.
“He was also an ideal interviewer who asked interesting and often important questions because he genuinely wanted to know the answer.”
Sir David added: “He also had a great sense of humour and didn’t take himself too seriously.”
Former worldwide cricket umpire and Yorkshire batter Bird, 90, spoke of his “dear friend” saying, “there will never be another Parky”.
The pair opened the batting for Barnsley Cricket Club collectively of their youth and remained mates, with Bird telling PA: “He was so close to me.
“His friendship meant more to me than anything else. If I wanted any advice I would ring Parky up. He helped me in so many, many ways.
“There will never be anyone better than him in your lifetime, my lifetime or anyone else’s lifetime.”
Sir Michael’s well-known interviews included these with boxer Muhammad Ali, footballer David Beckham and comic Rod Hull – with puppet Emu, and Sir Rod Stewart.
Posting an image of the pair and a clip from their interview, Sir Rod wrote: “In all my career, I’ve dreaded doing interviews on television.
“But with Michael, it was the opposite. I happily looked forward to our chats. He was authentic, truly the best and will be missed.”
Sir Michael Caine, who appeared in 2007 as a visitor on the ultimate Parkinson instalment, wrote on Twitter: “Michael Parkinson was irreplaceable, he was charming, always wanted to have a good laugh. He brought the best of everyone he met.
“Always looked forward to being interviewed by him.”
Sir Michael additionally made headlines with some tougher encounters, together with with actresses Dame Helen Mirren and US star Meg Ryan.
He famously launched stage and display screen star Dame Helen because the “sex queen” of the Royal Shakespeare Company throughout a 1975 chat present, and requested if her “equipment” hindered her being recognised as a critical actress.
In 2003, a frosty one-on-one with Hollywood actress Ryan whereas she was selling the poorly obtained erotic thriller In The Cut, noticed her stony-faced for the sit-down, delivering one-word solutions after allegedly being impolite to fellow visitors.
Sir Michael grew up as an solely youngster in a council home within the coalmining village of Cudworth, close to Barnsley in South Yorkshire.
He left college aged 16 and commenced working at a neighborhood paper, later becoming a member of the Manchester Guardian after which the Daily Express.
His first TV job was as a producer at Granada, and he later moved to Thames TV, earlier than touchdown his chat present Parkinson on the BBC.
He was additionally a revered radio broadcaster, internet hosting Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 in addition to his personal sports activities exhibits on 5 Live, and an award-winning sports activities author.
Sir Michael was knighted by the late Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2008, and in 2013, spoke overtly about being identified with prostate most cancers following a routine well being verify.
He had three sons with spouse Mary, who he married in 1959.