For years he was known as the king of the chat show, recording famous interviews with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Morcambe and Wise and Jack Nicholson. But with his BBC1 and ITV series ending seven years ago, Sir Michael Parkinson has signed up as the face of Waitrose TV.
The 78-year-old’s new role will see him wheeling out his interviewing skills once more, speaking with chefs, celebrities and sports stars for the channel from this spring as well as contributing to the supermarket’s customer magazine, Waitrose Weekend.
The online TV channel has previously called upon the talents of TV chefs Heston Blumenthal and Rachel Allen to host programmes but the retailer’s bosses are hoping Parkinson’s expertise will draw in a wider audience.
“Sir Michael Parkinson is one of Britain’s best-loved and most accomplished talkshow hosts,” said Waitrose marketing director, Rupert Thomas. “This combined with his interests in food, cooking and cricket will create compelling viewing and reading for Waitrose TV and Waitrose Weekend.”
As part of the deal, Parkinson’s production company, Parkinson Productions, will collaborate with Waitrose’s in-house commissioning team to create the shows.
Since retiring from his weekly chat show in 2007, the TV veteran has returned to hosting duties for Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts. He revealed last July that he had been diagnosed with prostrate cancer, undergoing a course of radiotherapy.