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TELEVISION

The day Muhammad Ali wowed Sir Michael Parkinson. Legendary presenter dies at 88

One of television’s great interviewers has left us, but so many memories will live on, including those with his “most remarkable man.”

Update:
One of television’s great interviewers has left us, but so many memories will live on, including those with his “most remarkable man.”
Reuters PhotographerREUTERS

On Thursday we learned the sad news of the passing of legendary British presenter Sir Michael Parkinson, at the age of 88. With a career spanning decades, ‘Parky’ was a household name, appearing on television sets across the United Kingdom and gaining fame further afield, as he delved into the lives of the world’s most famous stars.

When Parkinson met Ali

One of his most memorable interviews, which he later defined as the “most remarkable man” he ever met, was with the late, great Muhammad Ali. “I interviewed him four times,” Parkinson says, adding, “I lost on every occasion.”

Here is a compilation of those meetings, where it is clear that there was an initial friction between the two men, but the admiration grows and grows.

“After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family,” read a statement.

“The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve.”

How many people did Parkinson interview?

Among the other big-hitting guests featured on the show were Madonna, Sir Elton John and Dame Helen Mirren.

In 1971, Sir Michael introduced the first Parkinson show on BBC television, which initially ran for hundreds of episodes over 11 years. In 1998, he returned to the BBC for another run of the show interviewing more than 2,000 guests in total.

Rest in piece, Parky. Hopefully a fifth interview with ‘the greatest’ awaits in whatever lies beyond...