Parky reveals cancer battle

Bec Fary / July 08, 2013 12:44 PM

British chat show veteran Michael ‘Parky’ Parkinson has revealed he has prostate cancer. 


Photo credit: The Telegraph UK 

The 78-year-old TV host yesterday told London newspaper The Sun about his diagnosis.

Parkinson, whose namesake chat show ran from 1971-1982 and 1998-2007, has just begun intensive radiotherapy.

He said it is vital for cancer sufferers to face up to the disease.

“I am 78. Of course mortality is on the mind,” he told The Sun.

“But I’m not afraid.”

Parkinson estimates more than 2,000 of the world’s most famous people have sat with him at the BBC studios.

In his first season on air, Parkinson interviewed legendary filmmaker Orson Welles

He reflected on the encounter in 2003:

"I was petrified, gibbering like a bloody idiot,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It was a crucial interview; it was the first series and we needed to prove to the other agents in town that we could get the big names. And he was the biggest. I'd never been as frightened in all my life.

"Then he walked over to my desk, picked up my list of questions and tore it up.

“'What do we do now?' I asked. He said, 'We talk.'"

But Parkinson says the most remarkable person he’s met is Muhammed Ali

“I interviewed him four times. I lost on every occasion,” he told The Mirror.

Parkinson interviewed the boxer in 1974: 

“There's no way you can create a chemistry where none exists,” Parkinson told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“When there's a real relationship, when the interview becomes conversational, intimate, when you get the impression you're eavesdropping... that's when it works.

"I think you must learn how to interview, but the reason why some people are better than others is about a capacity they might have for settling people.

"I think it's about body language; it's about convincing people they should be comfortable with you."

Parkinson has three weeks of radiotherapy left and doctors expect a full recovery. 

He told The Sun he is planning a post-treatment trip to Australia. 

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