Author(s): Michael Parkinson
Muhammed Ali appeared on Michael Parkinson's chat show four times, with Parkinson declaring him the 'most remarkable human I ever encountered'. Drawing on those now iconic interviews, Michael Parkinson discusses the life of a sporting icon. From the early days of admiration for his political beliefs, to the world-beating boxing and the later years where illness began to take hold. Parkison Takes on Ali is the personal account of high profile meetings with a remarkable man.
Michael Parkinson was born in Cudworth, near Barnsley. He began his career as a journalist, but later moved to television where he worked for Granada on current affairs programmes before joining the BBC 24 hours team. In 1965 he began writing a weekly sports column for The Sunday Times. His chat show Parkinson ran for 11 years, from 1971 until 1982 and he has interviewed almost everybody who was anybody with the exception of Frank Sinatra - a lasting regret. From 1979 to 1982 he also presented Parkinson for ABC and Channel 10 in Australia, and in the 1980s he was one of the founder members of TV AM. From 1990-92 he presented the Michael Parkinson Show on LBC, a daily, live three hour radio show. From 1986-87 he presented Desert Island Discs on Radio 4 and from 1994-96 he presented Parkinson on Sport for Radio 5. In 1996 Michael launched a Sunday morning show, Parkinson's Sunday Supplement on Radio 2, with music and guests. In 1990 Michael Parkinson joined the Daily Telegraph, writing a regular weekly column on sport. He has won numerous awards including, in 1995, Sports Feature Writer of the Year at the British Sport Journalism Awards. In 1998 he won awards for his work in three different branches of the media - a feat thought to be unique. He won a Sony Radio Award for Parkinson's Sunday Supplement, he was named Sports Writer of the Year at the Press Gazette British Press Awards and Media Personality of the Year by the Variety Club. In June 2000, Michael was awarded a CBE and Parkinson was named one of the top ten favourite British TV programmes of all time. A new series of Parkinson began on ITV in 2004 and continued till November 2007. He was awarded a knighthood for services to broadcasting in the 2008 New Year's honours list. Happily married to his wife Mary for nearly fifty years, they have three sons.