Sunday, 21 February 2010

Don't Ask Daft Questions, Michael!

Shirley Temple on the Parkinson show June 1972

and the second smaller clip:

Highlights and the first part of an early "Parkinson" interview with one of the most famed Hollywood child actresses Shirley Temple. By 1972, Temple had quit the movie business with only sparse appearances on TV chat show after her 1958 TV vehicle flop "Shirley Temple's Storybook".

This clip features host Michael Parkinson questioning Temple on more serious issues like depression and about being married at the age of 17 to American actor John Agar and divorced at such a young age. Interlaced between that are more -jokey-trivial matters, like were the sets made deliberately bigger to make Shirley the child look even smaller, and how did she prepare to "cry" as child actor. Annoyingly, it's part one of interview on Youtube, the second part is nowhere to be seen in the related videos! I will check later and bring the second part here, if I can find it.

"Parkinson" was a popular BBC chat show from the 70s. Michael Parkinson's non-attention seeking, laid-back and working class heritaged manner went down well with many viewers. Parkinson was born in 1935, in the coal mining village of Cudworth, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. Although a son of a miner, Parkinson performed well at school, and became an active cricketer (played in the same club as legendary cricket household names like Dickie Bird and Geoffrey Boycott) and news reporter, establishing himself in the journalist market, and impressing enough to get into Tv presenting and his own chat show. That's how they did it back then! The first run of the show was from 1971-1982. He left the show for his unsuccessful short stint on "TV-AM" on Channel 3, the other side. For a while his broadcasting career was a little in the doldrums, far from the heights of "Parkinson".

In 1995, people started to remember how memorable the chat show was, including some of his funniest interview with legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali, Entertainer Rod Hull with his puppet Emu, and numerous ones with Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. A "Best of.." retrospective was shown, and "Parkinson" was soon revived in 1998 on the BBC. Things were going well until forced schedule changes of the show, thanks to the return of "Match of the Day" on Saturday nights in 2004, and the show limped on, on ITV of all places, now with adverts (BBC don't have commercial advertising as they get their money from the "TV licence" bill and Government funded.). Michael Parkinson retired from the role and so was the show, in 2007.

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