Entertainment & Arts

Michael Parkinson criticises chat hosts

Sir Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael retired from his chat show in 2007

Veteran broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson has criticised celebrities who attempt to front talk shows.

Writing in the Radio Times, the retired talk show host said: "The trouble with the talk show is everyone fancies their chances."

He said Graham Norton's talk show demonstrated "the host has more to say than the guests".

The star also said that ITV may have made a mistake moving Paul O'Grady's show into a 9pm slot.

"What was perfect at 5pm sits less comfortably at peak time and gifts a sitting duck for competing schedulers," he said.

Stars such as Charlotte Church, Lily Allen, Peter Andre and Davina McCall have all presented talk shows in the past.

Sir Michael said: "They are encouraged in their foolish ambition by television executives who really ought to know better than to entrust the job to people who, more often than not, neither know how to ask a question nor listen to the answer."

He went on: "For some, like Russell Harty, Clive James, Michael Aspel, Terry Wogan, Clive Anderson, Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton and Piers Morgan, it proved the perfect showcase for their disparate talent. For others it became the Bermuda Triangle of television," he said.

In an interview in the same edition, Norton commented on becoming a talk show host.

"I am really bad at actually interviewing people. My chat show really is a 'chat' show, in that we do just witter on because most questions you come up with you either know the answer to or are never going to be answered.

"It's fine to have a show all about the guest if you're talking to Bette Davis or Frank Sinatra, but if you are talking to someone from Emmerdale - I mean, I am not that interested, are you?"

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