Sir Michael Parkinson, 84, had to pause for a moment and compose himself when Piers Morgan interviewed him for his Life Stories programme in 2019. The TV veteran became visibly emotional as the Good Morning Britain host quizzed him on his father, Jack Parkinson’s, death that had occurred in 1975, following a battle with lung disease pneumoconiosis – which is caused by long-term retention of dust.
Following his appearance, Michael was inspired to write his latest book offering Like Father, Like Son.
Michael explained: “I broke down nearly 40 years later over my father’s death, I thought I had stored that away, I thought I had got rid of that grief, but I hadn’t.”
The book was co-written with the youngest of Sir Michael’s three sons, Michael Parkinson Jr, and explores family dynamics.
Michael continued: “It got me thinking… what was it about this man that made him unforgettable in my life?”
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One said: “Horrible seeing Michael Parkinson cry #LifeStories.”
Another commented: “I don’t want to see #MichaelParkinson cry #LifeStories @piersmorgan.”
While a third typed: “That’s really got me watching Michael Parkinson so heartbroken …someone give him a hug #LifeStories.”
A fourth remarked: “Wow!! That @piersmorgan Interview with the LEGEND Sir Michael Parkinson has to be the best #LifeStories episode ever!! Just extraordinary and very emotional too. Thank you Piers & Thank you Michael.”
Even Sir Michael’s son Michael Jr was surprised to see his dad in tears on national TV.
He told Good Morning Britain: “I was surprised by the strength of the emotion and I’ve worked with him for a long time.
“Tears are not far away from him. I knew (his father’s death) was a very difficult subject for him to address.”
Like Father, Like Son: A Family Story by Michael Parkinson and Mike Parkinson is available now (Hodder & Stoughton, Hardback, £20).