Sir Michael Parkinson embarrassed by how 'posh' he spoke in early TV days

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·3 min read

Watch: Michael Parkinson reveals why his old TV voice embarrasses him now

Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances because he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.

The 86-year-old Yorkshireman, the son of a coal miner, got his big TV break as a young journalist when he was asked to do a screen test.

The famed chatshow host told Christine Lampard on Lorraine: "The big break came in '61/62 when Granada Television in Manchester, a wonderful company to work for in those days, asked me to do a screen test, and I did and I look now with terrible embarrassment at the way I used to speak."

<p>Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances as he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.</p>
<p><br>The 86-year-old television presenter and talk show host was born and brought up in Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner, and got his big break when as a young journalist he was asked to do a screen test.</p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Sir Michael Parkinson is embarrassed by the 'posh' voice he used to put on for TV. (Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub)

Mimicking his old screen voice he went on: "I was terribly posh, 'Hello, how are you?'

Read more: Michael Parkinson offers olive branch to Meg Ryan 18 years after car crash interview

"I don't know where I got that from – nobody in my family or immediate friends spoke like that at all, quite the opposite. But there I was – terribly posh."

Lampard laughed: "Once you're on the telly you have to be posh!"

<p>Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances as he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.</p>
<p><br>The 86-year-old television presenter and talk show host was born and brought up in Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner, and got his big break when as a young journalist he was asked to do a screen test.</p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Michael Parkinson got his big break on TV after screen-testing for Granada in the early 60s. (Lorraine/ITV/ITV Hub)

Sir Michael is to celebrate his career with a new documentary, Parkinson At 50, due to air this weekend on BBC One.

Speaking about watching his old shows back, he said: "I find it difficult when people ask the question ‘What was your favourite show?’.

"There are just so many, I mean, how many did we do? Hundreds.

<p>Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances as he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.</p>
<p><br>The 86-year-old television presenter and talk show host was born and brought up in Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner, and got his big break when as a young journalist he was asked to do a screen test.</p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Sir Michael Parkinson and Christine Lampard joked about talking 'posh' on TV. (Lorraine/ITV/ITV Hub)

“They weren’t made to be shows that you would look back on forever, I mean, they were of their time.

“I don’t wander around wishing there were a library of my shows. I don’t do that at all, I don’t feel that way.

“I am just very happy to have survived the ordeal.”

Television chat show host Michael Parkinson who was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace. The popular interviewer, who has quizzed the world's top stars over 30 years in the business, claimed he did not really deserve the honour.      * Parkinson claimed he did not really deserve the honour for doing
Sir Michael Parkinson was given a knighthood in 2008. (PA)

Sir Michael recently offered an olive branch to When Harry Met Sally star Meg Ryan for a notoriously difficult interview he did with the Hollywood actor on his chat show 18 years ago.

Read more: Michael Parkinson STILL won’t apologise for awkward Helen Mirren interview

After being accused of not enjoying fame, Ryan eventually snapped to the host: ”Wrap it up.”

He told the Radio Times: “I wish I hadn’t lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I’d dealt with it in a more courteous manner. I was quite obviously angry with her and it’s not my business to be angry towards the guests. I came across as kind of pompous and I could have done better.”

Watch: Sir Michael Parkinson's infamous interview with Meg Ryan

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