In a moving private ceremony, friends and family have gathered to bid a fond farewell to legendary broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, in a “dignified send-off” befitting of the beloved icon.
Parkinson passed away on Wednesday, August 16 at the age of 88.
A statement from Parkinson’s family, at the time, confirmed his passing following a brief illness.
“After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family,” the statement read.
The private funeral, held at St. Michael’s Church, brought together 90 0f Parkinson’s close friends and family to celebrate a remarkable life that touched the hearts of many across the globe.
One of the most touching moments during the service occurred when Parkinson’s family placed a cherished cricket cap in his coffin. Cricket was more than just a sport to him, it was a passion that he carried with him throughout his life.
Alongside the cricket cap, a red and white Barnsley FC scarf, a nod to his beloved football club, was also tenderly placed in the casket.
Parkinson’s sons, Michael Jr and Andrew, delivered tribute to their beloved dad
A source told The Sun: “It was a very dignified send-off for a man who remained understated and classy to the end.”
“Everyone was in good spirits remembering him and his achievements. It was perfect,” the source said.
Parkinson’s intimate funeral follows a flood of tributes that poured in from fans and fellow celebrities worldwide after his passing. The tributes underscore the significant mark Parkinson left on broadcasting and the lives he touched.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Parkinson. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
He made 13 visits to the Hall between 1972 and 2012. Sir Michael’s last appearance was as a part of the Desert Island Discs 70th Anniversary Prom. pic.twitter.com/JQ1t6NiZan
— Royal Albert Hall (@RoyalAlbertHall) August 17, 2023
Michael Parkinson was irreplaceable, he was charming, always wanted to have a good laugh. He brought the best of everyone he met.
Always looked forward to be interviewed by him.
— Michael Caine (@themichaelcaine) August 17, 2023
We’re saddened to hear that presenter and chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson has died age 88. Parkinson’s TV career spanned seven-decades and saw him interview the world’s biggest stars on his long-running chat show Parkinson, for which he won a BAFTA in 1999. pic.twitter.com/7WHwNSLE1t
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) August 17, 2023
RIP Sir Michael Parkinson, a firm lover of cricket ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FOVRrz241X
— England’s Barmy Army ???????????????????????????????? (@TheBarmyArmy) August 17, 2023
I once interviewed Sir Michael Parkinson and told him how nervous I was. He said “The good thing about interviewing an interviewer is that we know what you’re looking for.” He couldn’t have been lovelier. He even took my producer and me to lunch. Farewell sir and thank you.
— Adam Hills (@adamhillscomedy) August 17, 2023
Parkinson’s stellar career began shortly after his school years when he became a features writer for the Manchester Guardian and later the Daily Express in London.
In the 1960s, he made the move into television, contributing to news programs for the BBC and Granada Television in Manchester.
Between March 1966 and January 1968, Parkinson joined the team for the BBC1 daily news magazine show Twenty-Four Hours. The following year, he took charge of Granada’s Cinema, a late-night film review program, where he had his first encounter with the legendary Laurence Olivier.
By July 1971, his self-titled show, Parkinson, began on the BBC. This show became his hallmark and ran until April 1982, returning from January 1998 to December 2007.
Over his career, Parkinson interviewed around 2,000 celebrities.
In recognition of his contributions, he received the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2000 Birthday Honours. He was ranked eighth in the British Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programs and twentieth in ITV’s TV’s 50 Greatest Stars.
In 2008, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Adding to his legacy, the National Portrait Gallery displayed a portrait of him by artist Jonathan Yeo in 2010, cementing his place in British culture.