International stars of stage, screen and the sporting field were amongst the many who the late Sir Michael Parkinson faced in a career which, whilst others of a more recent vintage are said to want to challenge their egos, he took control of with his incredibly unique aplomb.
In a career that covered seven decades, the journalist was known for his legendary interviews with stars including David Bowie, John Lennon, Dame Helen Mirren, George Michael and Brian Clough, as well as US star like Bette Davis, Meg Ryan, Bing Crosby and Orson Welles. His several interviews with the icon that is Muhammad Ali and those with comedian Billy Connolly were beacons of Saturday night television viewing during their respective times.
Following confirmation of the broadcaster's passing a number of stars who were interviewed by the Yorkshire-born presenter during his career on legendary ‘Parkinson’ chat show paid their tributes to the man from Barnsley with former Test cricket umpire Dickie Bird, a fellow-Yorkshire icon when, in an emotional interview, Mr Bird talked of how he only spoken the day before Sir Michael's death. Paying tribute to his good friend he said that the two of them had shared a tearful goodbye only the day before.
“Waking up to the sad news of Michael Parkinson passing, I was so lucky to not just be interviewed by Michael but to be able to spend precious time talking about football and family our 2 passions". Match of the Day's Gary Lineker tweeted he was "a truly brilliant broadcaster and wonderful interviewer".
On TV presenter Davina McCall’s Twitter account she wrote: "He was totally unique. Always so well researched.” She went on: “Funny, self deprecating, sharp, charming, strong, honest and a fantastic listener.
“His legacy is enormous." And on his Twitter account, fellow BBC star Lord Alan Sugar told followers, now known as X, it was the "end of an era". He said: "Very sad news on the passing of Michael Parkinson. End of a era RIP."
A statement from Sir Michael's family said: "After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family.
"The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve."
The TV host and legendary broadcaster died following a short illness. He was 88.