Sir Michael Parkinson looked dapper as he made a rare public appearance at cricket umpire Dickie Bird’s 90th birthday party on Wednesday.
The legendary announcer, 88, appeared to be in a jovial spirit as he was seen laughing with guests at the bash at Leeds’ Headingley Stadium.
For the occasion, he looked the part in a pale blue collared shirt, black slacks and a navy plaid blazer.
The former talk show host was seen socializing with guests at his table, while also reuniting with his friend Dickie, who was celebrating his 90th birthday.
The retired international cricket umpire looked the part in a bright blue shirt and tie and a pinstripe gray blazer and matching trousers as he posed with Sir Michael.
Rare appearance: Sir Michael Parkinson showed himself very dignified as he made a rare public appearance at cricket umpire Dickie Bird’s 90th birthday party on Wednesday
All smiles: The former Parkinson’s talk show host, 88, appeared to be in a jovial spirit as he was seen laughing with guests at the bash at Leeds’ Headingley Stadium
The friends have known each other for many years and were teammates at Barnsley Cricket Club in the 1950s, before Sir Michael’s successful TV career.
Sir Michael presented his program Parkinson from 1971 to 1982 and again from 1998 to 2007.
He also hosted two seasons of Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts in 2012 and 2013.
All in all, over the years, Parkinson has collected 2,000 interviews with some of the best-known names from all walks of life, including royalty.
In his 2022 book My life in sport: memories, moments and statementsthe presenter revealed that his most formidable guest was the Duke of Edinburgh, who he suspects hated the broadcaster from the start.
“I had to talk to him once, for a good cause, and it wasn’t a success—not at all,” he confessed.
The TV star, who lives in Berkshire with his wife Mary, has previously spoken about his long-running talk show.
Of his heyday – in which he sat one-on-one, often for a full hour, with the likes of Orson Welles, Madonna and David and Victoria Beckham – he said: “I had the best of it, in terms of the guys I could choose from …
Partying: The broadcaster was seen chatting to guests at his table at the party, while also reuniting with his friend Dickie (pictured), who was celebrating his 90th birthday
Long time friends: the friends have known each other for many years and were teammates at Barnsley Cricket Club in the 1950s, before Sir Michael’s successful TV career
“The older ones and the newer ones, and also the kind of television that was broadcast at the time. It was bliss.’
Parkinson’s favorites still include iconic footballer George Best, with whom he developed a deep friendship before dying prematurely at the age of 59 following a liver transplant.
He also counts Sir Billy Connolly among his favorite interviews, praising the comedian as ‘a natural funny man’.
His rare public appearance comes months after Sir Michael made a TV appearance on Good Morning Britain in November.
He appeared on the show alongside his son Mike, 55, discussing the art of interviewing and reminiscing about his time spent with footballer George Best.
Asked about the art of the interview by presenters Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley, Sir Michael said: ‘It takes something to be honest in an interview, to ask the questions well and not to be touchy about certain topics.
You know that as an interviewer. It’s a fascinating topic. There are many more things involved.
He added, “I also like to watch interviews these days, especially if they don’t do well.”
Sir Michael was good friends with George and interviewed the footballer more than a dozen times during his career.
Mike remembered playing football with the Manchester United winger as a child and his teachers didn’t believe him.
He said, “George used to come down and he was trying to avoid Dad because Dad was trying to lecture him.
Icon: The 86-year-old TV star fronted Parkinson between 1971 and 2007, and two seasons of Parkinson: Masterclass on Sky Arts in 2012 and 2013, chatting with a range of big names from the worlds of entertainment, sport and politics ( photo in 1987)
Classic: In 1971 he spoke with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in one of his first episodes
Friends: Sir Michael still considers Sir Billy Connolly one of his favorite guests, praising the comedian as “a natural funny man” (pictured together in 1987)
“He ran into the yard and played football with me and the two brothers and the game was to get the football off George as best he could, which was impossible.
“I went back to primary school and they asked me what I was doing this weekend and I said, I played football with George Best.
“I kept repeating this claim and got detention. I then saw George the next time and said to him George you got me in trouble and he said what can I do?
“He drew a football and wrote to Sister Cross that he played football with George Best, dear George. I gave it to her at school the next day and I’m sure she blushed.’