Michael Parkinson to return to television with Sky Arts

Veteran broadcaster will host a Masterclass series that looks at the career of one artist each week

More than four years after retiring from television, veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson will return to our screens to present a chat show on Sky Arts.

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The new six-part Masterclass series will see the 76-year-old host a 60-minute interview with his subject as he guides the viewer through an in-depth retrospective of their life and career. The programme will also feature musical performances and dramatic recitals.

A broadcaster, author and radio presenter with a career spanning six decades, Parkinson is best known for his BBC chat show of the same name, which ran from 1971 to 1982 and was revived in 1998, continuing until December 2007 – swapping from BBC to ITV partway through its second run.

During his time on Parkinson he interviewed more than 2,000 of the most famous faces from the world of entertainment, including Muhammad Ali, Orson Welles, John Lennon, Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson. He was knighted by the Queen in 2008 for services to broadcasting.

Michael Parkinson said: “I’m delighted to be working with Sky Arts on the Masterclass series and look forward to being part of the exciting times ahead for this innovative and important channel.”

Sky Arts director James Hunt said: “He is one of our country’s finest broadcasters, having interviewed everyone in the entertainment industry worth knowing, from Bing Crosby to Bette Davis, Rod Hull to Madonna.

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“This new interview series will allow Sir Michael to get closer than ever before to his subject, extracting the essence of their character in a way that only he can.”