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Michael Parkinson

Sir Michael Parkinson CBE (28 March 1935 – 16 August 2023) was an English television presenter, broadcaster, journalist and author. He presented his television talk show Parkinson from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007, as well as other talk shows and programmes both in the UK and internationally. He also worked in radio.

Interviews with The Beatles[]

Paul McCartney[]

Michael Parkinson and Paul McCartney

One of the most memorable interviews that Parkinson conducted was with Paul McCartney in 1999. Parkinson and McCartney had a long-standing agreement that dated back to 1974, when Parkinson agreed to be pictured on the cover of the Wings album Band On The Run in exchange for an interview with McCartney.

It took 25 years for McCartney to fulfil his promise, but he finally appeared on Parkinson’s TV show on December 3, 1999.

The interview was a rare and candid insight into McCartney’s life, career, and music. He talked about his childhood, his relationship with John Lennon, his solo projects, and his passion for painting.

He also performed several songs live, including 'Twenty Flight Rock', 'Yesterday', 'The Long And Winding Road', and 'All Shook Up'. He even played some unreleased songs that he had written for his wife Linda, who had passed away the year before.

John Lennon[]

John Lennon and Michael Parkinson

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were interviewed by Michael Parkinson in 1971. It was one of the first episodes of Parkinson, taking place in August that year, just a year after the Beatles had officially split up.

Lennon and Ono were promoting their new albums, Imagine and Fly, as well as Ono’s book Grapefruit, a collection of conceptual art pieces. They were also outspoken about their political activism, especially their anti-war campaigns such as the Bed-Ins for Peace.

The interview was thought lost for many years until it was rediscovered and remastered many years later. He asked Lennon and Ono about their relationship, their artistic collaboration, their treatment by the British press, and of course, the Beatles.

Hilariously, Lennon only agreed to speaking about the Beatles if Parkinson did the interview with a bag over his head, which he duly obliged.

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