Michael Parkinson: I have prostate cancer

Chat show legend is confident he will pull through and praises medical staff who have been treating him since May

Chat show legend Sir Michael Parkinson has prostate cancer but is confident he will pull through.


The 78-year-old was diagnosed in May and is having five radiotherapy sessions per week, he told the Press Association.

 “It was a great shock, but I have been told to expect to make a full recovery,” he said adding that he was “in wonder” at the marvellous work of medical staff.

However he said he was still shocked by the diagnosis: “I had to start calling a few of my social engagements to tell them I couldn’t do it – what do you say to them?

“When you are told you have something like cancer it is a shock. But the cancer specialist said: ‘I will assure you, you will not die of this. I am concerned about it, of course, but I am not frightened of it.

“If anything [the treatment is] boring. You have to lie there completely still, for six minutes. But I have had no side effects at all.”

Parkinson says he hopes to be free of the disease by August and urged men to pay greater attention to their health in order to catch potential diseases

“The test is if you can pee against a wall from 2ft, you haven’t got it,” he said. “I don’t want to trivialise it, but men know when there’s a problem … Get it checked out.”

 “I’m 78 and I have had a good life,” he said. “When you get involved in this, you begin to understand the extraordinary work of those involved in treating cancer.

“You just sit and look at them in wonder. They do the most extraordinary things, and I am very grateful.

“I shall be around for a while yet, to the delight of my friends and the dismay of my enemies.”

Parkinson has enjoyed a stellar year TV career spanning more than four decades as an interviewer for his eponymous BBC and ITV shows – a format that has endured since Parkinson launched on BBC1 in 1971.


Highlights include his meetings with Muhammad Ali, David Beckham and Rod Hull – and of course his puppet Emu.