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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

MICHAEL PARKINSON (article first published : 2004-10-27)

DStv viewers were introduced to the sharp wit of Michael Parkinson on BBC Prime. Now, his highly acclaimed talk show, Parkinson, will air exclusively on M-Net. The latest season of Parkinson premieres in South Africa on October 24, just after the evening's blockbuster movie, at about 21h50.

“Parky”, as he is lovingly referred to, has lined up an impressive list of international celebrities and performers for this new series of Parkinson: Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise gives his first ever in-depth interview in the first episode in a programme which also features actor and outrageous comedian Billy Connolly and Britain's Olympic heroine Kelly Holmes.

Funnyman Ricky Gervais and UK Pop Idols presenters Ant and Dec are some of the other guests on the show. Queen of the Catwalk Naomi Campbell reveals to Michael Parkinson what it's like being the most famous - and infamous - model in the world and Dame Julie Andrews talks about her 40 years in show business. Music legends on the show include Tom Jones, Jools Holland and R&B sensation Beverley Knight.

Relaxed, well groomed, and attentive to his guests' feelings, Michael Parkinson is the consummate interviewer - adept at getting the best out of the celebrities on the show without causing offence.

Born in Yorkshire, Michael Parkinson started out as a newspaper journalist but later moved to Granada tv, where he worked on current affairs programmes, and thence to the BBC, where he joined the 24 Hours team and also indulged his enduring love of sport, producing sports documentaries for London Weekend Television. In 1971 he made his debut as a talk show host with his own Parkinson show which became an institution.

(Editor’s Note: It was the desire to watch Parkinson on a regular basis that originally spurred me to get connected to DStv! He’s worth every minute of the subscription fee. Caroline Smart)




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