Michael Parkinson finally speaks about his infamous Helen Mirren interview 5

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The awkward encounter left Helen Mirren fuming.

It was the interview that was almost too cringeworthy to watch and now, after years of silence, Michael Parkinson has finally addressed the subject.

Helen Mirren has said she was left outraged after appearing on Michael’s show early in her career after he made a number of comments about her figure and suggested she wouldn’t be taken seriously as an actress because she had “big bosoms”.

The pair have never made up and while Helen has spoken a little about the encounter, Michael has stayed quiet until now.

Speaking to Event magazine, Michael he has no intention of apologising and doesn’t think he has anything to be ashamed of.

After introducing her to the audience has a “sex queen” he commented that she was good at “sluttish eroticism” and asked if her “equipment” hindered her ability to be a serious actress.

“Serious actresses can’t have big bosoms, is that what you mean?” Helen fired back at him, in the 1975 interview.

This week, Michael said he may have come on a bit strong, but suggested she brought it upon herself.

“OK, maybe I was a bit over-reactive to Ms Mirren,” he said.

“On the other hand, she presented a provocative figure as she walked down the stairs carrying a feather boa, half dressed as I recall, with love and hate tattooed on to her knuckles. I mean, we didn’t like each other.”

He said he has no intention of making up with her.

“I don’t want to. Nor does she. I don’t regard what happened as being anything other than good television.

“There is no need to apologise, not at all. I’ve not done anything that I’m ashamed of.’ And he adds: ‘Am I a sexist? No, I’m Yorkshire.”

Do you think he should apologise? Or was it all okay in the name of good TV?

Was Michael out of line? Or did Helen overreact?

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  1. This interview made Parkie look like pompous prick – he couldn’t even give her the respect to sit properly in his chair to interview her. I thought she had lots of common sense in her answers and of course just look at her now – just a fabulous actress and also a Dame. You showed poor taste Parkie.

  2. Although Parkinson is one of the great interviewers of the twentieth century, this one is a LONG way from being his best effort, in fact he didn’t do himself any favors at all! The proof of the pie is in the eating, as the cliche goes, and look where Helen is in the eyes of the world now, despite his efforts to belittle and degrade her. Need I say more?

  3. Though I normally adore Parky, this time he had circles run around him, which he richly deserved. She well and truly bested him. Smoothly, intelligently and gently done, Helen took him out. Well done to a gracious lady.

  4. Whilst this was not Parky’s finest moment by a long shot, I am diappointed to learn that it has been the subject of a lifelong dislike of eachother since then – if this incident is all it is about and there were no preceding nonsense from Parky that we are not privvy to here that is.

    Helen in this interview towered above Parky and had an, apparent, softly spoken confidence that seemed to me – as a wide-eyed prepubescent boy – that she could have swatted Parky clear off the map with her feather boa. But she didn’t. She handled her young self, in a very awkward situation, with a supreme grace and elegance far beyond her years that could only be marvelled at and admired in her. She may or may not of cried herself to sleep that night, or smashed an entire tea set when she got home, idont know. I only know what she gave to us in the interview.

    I loved watching Parky as a boy and I adored Helen then and still do today. But I feel sure that I would have been out of my depth with her had I ever been in her presence. If Parky were honest, that is what happened: He was out of his depth and turned – as many of us red blooded chaps do – into an awkward schoolboy. Personally my only hope would have been that the young Helen found me endearing enough and was happy to engage with me – unlikely to be honest, I have always been an awkward school boy myself when confronted with a beautifully intelligent Women.

    But if, perhaps, Helen sees herself as the victor and not the victim it must be that the gracious power lays with her to bury the hatchet between them. I hope she does. But Parky! Don’t make me choose between you mate just accept what was the case.

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