Wednesday 23 August 2017

Sir Michael Parkinson relives 'cringeworthy' lowlights of his chatshow career

The broadcaster asked if Dame Helen Mirren’s “equipment” hindered her being recognised as a serious actress.

By Sherna Noah

Sir Michael Parkinson has described his interview with Dame Helen Mirren as “cringeworthy” but said the actress had continued their “feud” for a long time.

The veteran broadcaster introduced the stage and screen star as the “sex queen” of the Royal Shakespeare Company during their 1975 chat show encounter, and asked if her “equipment” hindered her being recognised as a serious actress.

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The former chatshow host, 82, told Good Morning Britain: “You have to look at that interview in the context of the time.

“When you’ve had a career as long as mine, you’re going to have lots of cringeworthy moments and that was one of them.

“She took umbrage, I don’t blame her. But she’s carried on that feud for a long time.”

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He added: “We did have a meeting on television about 20 years ago after that and we decided … we’d kiss and make up… we didn’t get that far… I didn’t get a kiss at all.”

Hollywood actress Meg Ryan made it clear she did not enjoy the experience of being interviewed by the broadcaster, maintaining a frosty silence in another encounter.

“I’d like to get the Meg Ryan one right. We were both in a fairly grim mood for various reasons,” Sir Michael said.

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“I just took against her … There was another way to handle that (Ryan being difficult). It just got worse and worse.”

He added: “She regularly says not charming things about me.”

Asked what he would ask Donald Trump if he could interview the US President, he replied: “If he’s all there… it’s very erratic behaviour,” and he said of the Queen: “I’d like to ask her what her old man is really like.”

Sir Michael also discussed the headlines made by Theresa May, his local MP, on The One Show, with her husband joking about taking the bins out.

“She’s a very pleasant lady.

“I know her socially and I know her as someone who’s a very hardworking MP.

“I didn’t see the interview last night. I don’t know what they expect.

“She’s a housewives’ superstar … and her husband trudges along in her wake!” he said.

Asked whether he takes the bins out in his house, Sir Michael joked: “No, (wife) Mary puts the bins out. Of course she does, she’s Irish.”

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