SOUTH Yorkshire’s chatshow king Sir Michael Parkinson is coming out of retirement to host a new talk show, he has revealed in an exclusive video chat with The Star’s digital editor Graham Walker.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our full video interview with Parky or watch it on The Star’s YouTube Channel where it can be viewed by Apple devices including the iPhone and iPad - CLICK HERE
The 76-year-old - who is widely acknowledged by other chat show hosts as the best there’s ever been - will step back into the hot seat for a 10-part series next summer on Sky.
Instead of several guests he will interview just one big name for each one-hour episode.
And although he’s keeping the names close to his chest, he says the shows will be similar to one-off Parkinson shows he’s done in the past with the likes of international superstars Paul McCartney, Elton John and George Michael.
Sir Michael, or Parky as he’s affectionately known to millions of viewers, officially retired four-years ago.
He explained his television comeback plans when he returned home to promote the paperback launch of Parky’s People.
He was talking about the book, which features 100 of his favourite interviews, during a sellout show at Sheffield’s Crucible, as part of this year’s Star-backed Off The Shelf literary festival.
In a video chat with digital editor Graham Walker - watch it all in full at thestar.co.uk/video – Parky, billed on his own website as ‘the man who has met everybody’, said: “I’m going to do an interview programme for Sky television next year.
“Basically it’s my choice of performer, to be done to an audience. There will be performance and talk, about their life and times.
“I want to find out what you have to do to be this person? What is their secret?”
Parky, born in Cudworth, near Barnsley, said if he could have back any guests for one last traditional Parkinson show he’d have no hesitation in his choice.
He said: “Orson Wells would be one, because he was a majestic speaker. Billy Connolly because he’s the funniest man I’ve ever met and Shirley MacLaine because I fancied her like mad. And music from Fred Astaire - doing a song.”
He revealed a recent health scare after a skin specialist found a small growth on the bottom lid of his left eye.
He had a biopsy and it was benign. “There was nothing wrong but they took too much out and it droops a bit now.
“So I’m having a rectifying operation. I’m not having the bags under my eyes removed. Now that would take a major operation. You’ll see me with just a patch over one eye for a while,” he laughed.
For full details of other Off The Shelf events visit www.offtheshelf.org.uk