Monday 16 September 2019

Sir Michael Parkinson: I had to learn to walk again after spinal surgery

The beloved chat show host said he has had a “long and unpleasant” recovery.

Sir Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael Parkinson

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Sir Michael Parkinson has told of how he has had to learn to walk again after undergoing surgery on his back.

The chat show veteran, 82, who battled prostate cancer in recent years, said he is able to “stagger around”, and that his mind is still sharp despite his physical condition.

Sir Michael told The Sunday Mirror: “I’ve been ill for the last five years.

“I’ve overcome prostate cancer, but it’s been a difficult period of my life. And my spinal operation has involved a long and unpleasant recovery.

“But in many ways what gets me through is the thought of not becoming redundant. I don’t want to be on the waste heap – and that more than anything else is the best motivation for anyone growing old.”

Sir Michael Parkinson

Sir Michael said his surgeon came to him around two months ago and insisted that he perform an operation on his spine after having “kept the inevitable at bay” for 11 years.

“So we did it, and it’s been successful, but you have to learn to walk again for one thing when you’ve had all that,” he added.

“I’m still not too great on my feet but I can stagger around and do my work and there is nothing wrong with the mind.”

The broadcaster was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 and was given the all-clear in 2015, and he said he does not “take a pessimistic view of it”.

He said: “Same with the spinal operation. I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant, but I knew I wasn’t going to bloody die of it. I hope not anyway.”

Sir Michael said: “A lot don’t do that and leave it too late. I know a couple of people who waited too long. You’ve got to get it checked because it is not a pleasant experience.

“Even if you survive it, there are still ramifications.”

Sir Michael was praised for speaking out about his diagnosis and raising awareness of the condition at the time.

PA Media

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