Parky parks at ITV

BBC yakker jumps ship to keep 10 p.m. slot

LONDON — Commercial web ITV has poached one of the BBC’s biggest stars — chatshow host Michael Parkinson — to a two-year exclusive deal.

The BBC vet, whose Saturday-night show bowed in 1971, will need no introduction to Hollywood stars because many have been featured on “Parkinson.”

Critics claim Parkinson, whose show was revived by BBC1 six years ago, lost his edge long ago. But the much-satirized host, dubbed Parky, still achieves high ratings when he lands the right celebs.

A jubilant Nigel Pickard, ITV’s director of programs, hailed the signing of the pact, which takes effect in the fall, claiming Parkinson remains the top U.K. TV talkshow presenter.

“Not only is he much loved by viewers,” Pickard said, “he also has the reputation to attract the biggest guest stars from here and Hollywood.”

Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Fred Astaire and James Cagney are some of the top talent that Parkinson has interviewed. Politicians, including Nelson Mandela, and rock stars, not least Paul McCartney, have also sat opposite the interlocutor.

He signed with the rival web because the BBC can no longer guarantee him a fixed, 10 p.m. slot on Saturdays due to its commitment to major league soccer. He’ll have the same slot at ITV.

The new show, following the same formula of talk and music, will be made by Granada.

More TV

  • BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- "White Whale" Episode

    Hitchcock and Scully Episode of ’Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Announced at Comic-Con

    LONDON — Commercial web ITV has poached one of the BBC’s biggest stars — chatshow host Michael Parkinson — to a two-year exclusive deal. The BBC vet, whose Saturday-night show bowed in 1971, will need no introduction to Hollywood stars because many have been featured on “Parkinson.” Critics claim Parkinson, whose show was revived by […]

  • Amy Powell

    Ousted Paramount TV Chief Amy Powell Denies Making Racially Insensitive Comments

    LONDON — Commercial web ITV has poached one of the BBC’s biggest stars — chatshow host Michael Parkinson — to a two-year exclusive deal. The BBC vet, whose Saturday-night show bowed in 1971, will need no introduction to Hollywood stars because many have been featured on “Parkinson.” Critics claim Parkinson, whose show was revived by […]

  • 'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators

    'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators and Stars Talk Crossover Potential

    LONDON — Commercial web ITV has poached one of the BBC’s biggest stars — chatshow host Michael Parkinson — to a two-year exclusive deal. The BBC vet, whose Saturday-night show bowed in 1971, will need no introduction to Hollywood stars because many have been featured on “Parkinson.” Critics claim Parkinson, whose show was revived by […]

  • Bristol Palin Teen Mom OG

    Bristol Palin to Join 'Teen Mom OG' Cast

    LONDON — Commercial web ITV has poached one of the BBC’s biggest stars — chatshow host Michael Parkinson — to a two-year exclusive deal. The BBC vet, whose Saturday-night show bowed in 1971, will need no introduction to Hollywood stars because many have been featured on “Parkinson.” Critics claim Parkinson, whose show was revived by […]

  • Jeanine Pirro You the Jury

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeanine Pirro Have Spat During 'View' Appearance

    LONDON — Commercial web ITV has poached one of the BBC’s biggest stars — chatshow host Michael Parkinson — to a two-year exclusive deal. The BBC vet, whose Saturday-night show bowed in 1971, will need no introduction to Hollywood stars because many have been featured on “Parkinson.” Critics claim Parkinson, whose show was revived by […]

  • The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale

    ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Addresses Andrew Lincoln Series Exit

    LONDON — Commercial web ITV has poached one of the BBC’s biggest stars — chatshow host Michael Parkinson — to a two-year exclusive deal. The BBC vet, whose Saturday-night show bowed in 1971, will need no introduction to Hollywood stars because many have been featured on “Parkinson.” Critics claim Parkinson, whose show was revived by […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content