Michael Parkinson ‘got uppity’ over remarks from youngest son in new book ‘Bit of a shock’

Michael Parkinson admits he ‘locked away’ grief for his father

Sir Michael Parkinson, 85, shared to Express.co.uk that he got “uppity” over his son Michael Parkinson Jr’s comments about him as a parent. The pair worked together on their book Like Father Like Son, which explored three generations of their family.

In a chapter that his youngest child wrote discussing his famous dad, he described his drinking and sometimes unapproachable behaviour.

The chat show host has now said he was taken aback by the remarks and was left feeling “shocked”, but also felt it was important to understand his observations.

He said: “There’s not been a father who has had sons or daughters growing up and thought, ‘What do they really think about me?’

“So when I got to the chapter where Michael talks frankly about me and my faults, it was a bit of a shock, is this about me really?

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“I got a bit uppity, but that’s the way he felt about me. 

“He didn’t say he didn’t love me, he meant that I was not that loveable, nice, easy-going – [how] I imagine myself to be,” he added.

The TV host stresses that it is important to listen to other points of view about their behaviour.

He continued: “I think it’s important for any parent, and vice versa, to have that opposite observation from those closest to him.

Michael Sr has been married to Mary Parkinson for over 60 years and the couple have three children together.

He shared: “Nobody is as close to me as my wife and children, so they have got a point of view that is worth listening to.”

Michael Jr, who has also worked with his dad on the Parkinson chat show, admitted that sometimes his father can “cross the line”.

However, the pair have never had a disagreement that can’t be fixed by having an open debate.

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Michael Jr revealed: “I’ve always had the ability to separate the personal from the professional, whenever he crosses that line in the studio, he’s not my father, he’s Michael Parkinson, once he leaves the studio he becomes my father again.

“The problems occur when you blur those boundaries because you can never bring the personal in with the business because it’s not fair and it will destroy a relationship,” he added.

The son of the famed chat show host divulged that they have argued in the past, because they both have their own “very strong opinions” on what is right.

He continued: “Yeah we have clashed, we have clashed simply because we both have very strong views of what is right.”

Speaking on the time he worked as a producer on Parkinson, Michael Jr added: “We care about what we do, but we have never had a clash that… I mean from the outside, people have probably looked in and probably thought, ‘My God.’ 

“We go at it like a hammer and tongs because we want the same thing. 

“There have been a couple of times we have had brutal and frank discussions, but always part as friends.”

The Parkinson show began airing on TV screens back in 1971 on the BBC, before switching over to ITV in 2004 where it was shown till 2007.

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