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BBC to celebrate 50th anniversary of Parkinson launch with special programme

Parkinson ran on the BBC until 2004.

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The show will delve into the archives of Parkinson, which first aired in 1971 (Ian West/PA)

The show will delve into the archives of Parkinson, which first aired in 1971 (Ian West/PA)

The show will delve into the archives of Parkinson, which first aired in 1971 (Ian West/PA)

The BBC is to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sir Michael Parkinson’s chat show with a programme looking back at some of his memorable interviews.

Parkinson At 50 will see Sir Michael delve into the archives of Parkinson, which first aired in 1971.

The announcement has been made to coincide with the 86th birthday of the veteran broadcaster.

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Parkinson first aired in 1971 (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Parkinson first aired in 1971 (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Parkinson first aired in 1971 (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Sir Michael said: “When you reach my age, birthdays are greeted with more of a sense of relief than celebration but this year will be different because 50 years ago a much younger Michael Parkinson was celebrating his 36th birthday and looking forward to starting a new show for the BBC.

“Little would he have known then that he would end up hosting over 650 shows and interviewing over 2,000 of the good and great.

“Parkinson At 50 is my story of an unlikely journey from a pit village in South Yorkshire to the top of the Parkinson stairs.”

Parkinson At 50 is my story of an unlikely journey from a pit village in South Yorkshire to the top of the Parkinson stairsSir Michael Parkinson

Parkinson ran on the BBC until 2004 when the programme switched to ITV, where it was broadcast until his retirement in 2007.

Kate Phillips, acting controller of BBC One, said: “What better way for Sir Michael Parkinson to celebrate his 86th birthday than to take a very special look back at 50 years of Parkinson.

“Since walking down those famous steps back in 1971, Sir Michael has interviewed more than 2,000 of the world’s most famous people and made such a huge impact on the interview genre.”

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Transmission details for Parkinson At 50, which is to be shown on BBC One, will be announced at a later date.


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