Is there too much funny business on today’s TV talk shows?

Michael Parkinson has hit out at modern interviewers for basing shows on comedy instead of chat - do you agree?

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Chat show veteran Michael Parkinson has hit out at modern talk show hosts like Alan Carr, Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross, accusing them of spending more time cracking jokes than conversing with their guests.

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Speaking to The Sun, the 76-year-old said: “If you look across the board, there isn’t one talk show — apart from Piers Morgan — that is interview based.

“What they are based on is comedy. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just the way it is now. But there isn’t one show like I used to do which is based on an interview.

“I don’t know why bosses don’t want the kind of talk show that there used to be.”

He also lamented the narrow range of guests who agree to be interviewed on modern talk shows, saying: “The trouble with talk shows today is that they go for a very narrow band of guests, particularly comedians.

“When I did talk shows I could have on David Attenborough and Billy Connolly. You don’t see that blend nowadays.”

Parkinson has recently been signed up for a new six-part talk show on Sky Arts, due to start filming in May, which will see him return to television after five years of retirement.

His chat show, Parkinson, which ran from 1971-2007 on both BBC1 and ITV1, used to contain more formal interviews than today’s talk shows, each programme usually consisting of a sequence of three 15-minute conversations with well-known celebrities.

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But do you agree with Parky? Do you think today’s talk shows are too light on interviews? Vote in our poll and let us know…