Michael Parkinson’s off-screen life of his beloved wife, alcohol abuse and the infamous Meg Ryan interview

Yorkshire-born broadcaster and journalist Sir Michael Parkinson has been a familiar face on our screens for as long as most of us can remember.

The 86-year-old, affectionately nicknamed “Parky”, introduced us to the talk show Parkinson, which ran from 1971 to 1982 and then again from 1998 to 2007.

During this time he has interviewed over 2,000 of the world’s most famous people – from Hollywood stars to politicians, stars of sports and popular culture.

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He sat opposite legends like Muhammad Ali and even helped launch the career of top comedian Billy Connolly.



Broadcaster and journalist Sir Michael Parkinson

And while he may have climbed the dizzying heights of the showbiz hall of fame, we in Yorkshire will always claim him as one of our own – he’s hugely proud of his roots.

He was born in Cudworth near Barnsley in 1935 and was the son of a miner.

He attended Barnsley Grammar School and his passion and talent for cricket led him to open batting at Barnsley Cricket Club with famed umpire Dickie Bird.

Is Michael Parkinson married and does he have children?

Parkinson has been married to his wife Mary, also from North Doncaster, since 1959.

The couple met in Yorkshire on the top deck of a bus in Doncaster and the rest, as they say, is history.



Parkinson has been married to his wife Mary, also from North Doncaster, since 1959.

The lovebirds have been married for 60 years and have three children, Andrew, Nicholas and Michael Jr, born in 1960, 1964 and August 1967.

They now also have eight grandchildren.

Michael suffered from alcohol abuse

Despite being happily married, the star has previously revealed how it hasn’t always been easy – which has led him to rely heavily on alcohol.

In 2020, Parkinson opened up to the Express about a ‘deeply unhappy’ period in his longtime marriage that occurred after he began to increasingly rely on alcohol early in his life. career in Fleet Street.

He said, “I was pretty close to being a chronic alcoholic.”

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He described how the drinking culture in journalism at the time was all-consuming and that several of his friends were “heavy drinkers”.

Fortunately, he managed to “retire at the right time”.

It was Mary who ultimately helped him through it, revealed the reporter, who said: ‘I could remember that as the thing that stopped me, that was Mary my wife.’

Michael Parkinson’s moving documentary

Parkinson had his own documentary on BBC One called “Parkinson at 50” which left viewers emotional.

The documentary saw the legendary talk show look back on his illustrious career alongside his son and producer Mike.



Talk show legend Michael Parkinson in his prime
Michael Parkinson had his own BBC One documentary titled Parkinson at 50 which left viewers emotional

He then reviewed some of his most memorable career moments and recalled speaking to various famous faces over the years from all walks of life.

Among the list were boxing legend Muhammed Ali, actress Dame Helen Mirren and comedian Billy Connelly.

At the time, viewers watching the documentary couldn’t help but be moved by the chat show host as they reviewed his career highlights.

Michael’s infamous interview with Meg Ryan

As awkward TV interviews go, Parkinson’s chilling conversation with Hollywood star Meg Ryan in 2003 is one of the most infamous.

The chat show host was confronted by a stone-faced Ryan, who provided one-word answers as she promoted her poorly received erotic thriller The Cut.



Michael Parkinson’s chilling conversation with Hollywood star Meg Ryan in 2003 is one of the most infamous

Despite a long and industrious career interviewing stars and high-profile personalities, it went down in history as one of Sir Michael’s most memorable performances.

Today, nearly 20 years later, the TV host presented Ryan, now 59, with an olive branch and admitted that neither of them were ‘in top form. “.

Speaking to the Radio Times last year, he said: “I’m sorry. But you have to understand that you played a part in it too.

“Neither of us was in top form, and we were both uncomfortable.”

What awards has Michael Parkinson won?

Over the course of his career, Michael has won numerous awards including a BAFTA, several National Television Awards and finished with Parkinson in the BFI’s top 10 British TV shows of all time.

In honor of his services to broadcasting, Sir Michael received a CBE from Prince Charles in 2000, before being knighted by the Queen in 2008 in the New Year Honors List.

And now he will return to his native country in March, to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Yorkshire Society.



Michael Parkinson will return to his native Yorkshire in March to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Yorkshire Society

As a proud Yorkshireman, we hope this award will be even more appreciated than the many accolades he has already received.

Parkinson, when asked to receive the award, replied wryly: “I am delighted to be recognized by my fellow Yorkshire men and women. It only took me 80 years to finally impress them.”

What is Michael Parkinson’s net worth?

Michael’s net worth is around $12 million, according to celebrity sites.

That’s a massive fortune currently worth around £8.8million.

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