Renowned British talk show host Michael Parkinson dies at 88

Renowned British talk show host Michael Parkinson dies at 88

Broadcaster known for interviewing big celebrity names throughout his nearly 7 decade-long career

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - Famous British talk show host Michael Parkinson, known for having interviewed some of the world’s most well-known celebrities, including Muhammad Ali and Elton John, has died aged 88, his agent confirmed Thursday.

“After a brief illness, Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in his family’s company,” said a statement from his family.

His BBC talk show, called “Parkinson,” first aired in 1971 and ran for over a decade, during which it became a late-night Saturday hit. It was revived in 1998 and remained on air for another three years until he retired.

George Michael, David Beckham and David Attenborough were among the glittering list of celebrities he interviewed, with many memorable moments.

With his relaxed and conversational interviewing style that put guests at ease with comfortable questions and allowing uninterrupted talk, Parkinson is said to have set the standard for all presenters.

Following the news of his passing, Parkinson’s fans paid tribute to the TV legend.

“We say goodbye to the best…Waking up to the sad news of Michael Parkinson passing, I was so lucky to not just be interviewed by Michael but to be able to spend precious time talking about football and family, our 2 passions, plus the GoldenBalls moment…Sending love to Mary and the whole family," former football star David Beckham said on Instagram.

BBC Director General Tim Davie called the legend “the king of the chat show,” adding in his statement that “he interviewed the biggest stars of the 20th century and did so in a way that enthralled the public. Michael was not only brilliant at asking questions, he was also a wonderful listener.”

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth knighted Parkinson in 2008.

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