Sir Michael Parkinson, a true broadcasting legend and certified national treasure, will celebrate some of the defining moments of his tenure as one of the most recognisable and widely sought after interviewers of the 20th and 21st centuries, by hosting an evening at Theatre Royal Brighton on Sunday 1 April.
In conversation with his son Mike and showing highlights from the Parkinson archive, these new theatre shows will provide a unique opportunity to get an intimate, entertaining and informative look at Sir Michael’s remarkable journey from humble upbringings in a Yorkshire mining town, to becoming one of the most familiar faces on television, whilst reliving the greatest events from a show that for many defined their Saturday night.
In a career spanning several decades, Sir Michael Parkinson was responsible for interviewing over 2000 of the most important figures of our time, including Nelson Mandela, Marlon Brando and Mohammed Ali, to name but a few of the plethora of individuals who have shaped our cultural landscape. Universally known for his inimitable demeanour, Sir Michael Parkinson’s gift for drawing insightful and often revelatory information from his subjects became addictive viewing, his conversations consistently reflecting the true personalities of all those with whom he came face to face with.
From those famously awkward situations to poignant and emotional unveilings, Sir Michael’s theatre tour will see him both recount and breathe new life into these critical junctures, as well as turning the spotlight on to the man himself, highlighting his relationships with friends, family and colleagues along the way.
An Evening With Sir Michael Parkinson will be a night of reflective and celebratory entertainment, which will undoubtedly bring audiences the very best of a man who has shaped the perception of show business, popular culture and recent history for years to come.
Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton, BN1 1SD
Sunday 21st April 2018 – 7:30pm
Tickets are available online, or alternatively call the box office on 0844 871 7650.
Read on for an interview with Michael Parkinson
You are hosting ‘An Audience With Sir Michael Parkinson’ at Theatre Royal Brighton on Sunday 1 April. Can you let us know what the audience can expect?
Well actually I’m co -hosting. The show is myself in conversation with son and long term Producer Mike who takes me though my life and career with the help of some classic clips from the Parkinson archive. It’s the story of how I made it out of a pit village to the top of those famous stairs with all the highs and low along the way in the company of Connolly, Ali, Lauren Bacall, Sir David Attenborough, Joan Rivers, Sir Michael Caine. Madonna, Dane Edna Everage to name but a few. It’s a great show which I love doing and If I wasn’t on stage I buy a ticket!
In your mind what is the role of the media in society?
I’ve never found a better description then the original mission statement of the BBC – to inform, educate and entertain.
Not one you would expect me to say. It was with the eminent scientist Professor Jacob Bronowski. He was the writer and presenter of that landmark book and television series The Ascent of Man. It was the one time that the shape and progression of the interview went exactly the way I had prepared. But that was more to do with Professor Bronowski’s perfect command of the English language and his forensic mind then my interviewing skills.
Once, when they were still with us, I sat down with Alan Whicker and David Frost, both of whom I liked and deeply admired, and we agreed to write down on a piece of the paper the worst interviewee we had all interviewed. We then showed each other at the same time. Each of us had written down Thor Heyerdahl, the Norweigan anthropologist most famous for the Kon-Tiki expedition in the Pacific. We all agreed he would not be our first choice as a crewmate on a deep sea cruise.
Top 3 songs ever written?
Too many. Here’s 3 that are near the top of my list. I’ve Got you Under my Skin by Cole Porter, sung by Frank Sinatra with the arrangement by Nelson Riddle. Summertime by George and Ira Gershwin, sung peerlessly by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Love for Sale, again by Cole Porter, played as an instrumental by the Buddy Rich Big Band.
Proudest moment from your career?
Being awarded Honorary membership of the Musicians Union. Music has given me such joy in my life and my respect for anyone with musical talent knows no bounds. To be accepted into their inner circle without an ounce of musical talent is a real honour.
What do you make of current British television?
Slick, brilliantly produced and full of talent yet sadly often soulless and derivative. I was lucky to come into television when I did.
Any advice for up and coming broadcasters / interviewers today?
It’s difficult to do so because the media environment they are coming into is not one I recognize nor to be honest understand. The only piece of advice I can give any aspiring interviewer is do your homework and listen.