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Ordinary family “too dull” says celeb…er, journalist person

Parky applies his journalist nous to steering a floaty thing across some wet stuffJournalist Michael Parkinson, pictured here being a journalist back when he was still one of us, has been making the headlines again like every good journalist should.

As happens every time he pens a column for Radio Times, a few of his remarks of a strictly journalistic bent (naturally) have found their way into a press release and hence into the media and on to websites like this one.

This time, the nub of Ol’ Miserable Bastard’s peroration seems to be the fact his family were considered “too dull” to form the basis of an episode of gutsy genealogical gallop Who Do You Think You Are.

The crafty bugalugs. What he really means, of course, is that they were “too dull compared to me, Michael Parkinson the journalist”.

He’s resorted to using his own ancestors to remind the public, as if they needed it, of why he should still be considered of relevant celebrity stock. So much so, runs the implication, that every other contributor to Who Do You Think You Are pales by comparison. After all, none of them are journalists, are they? Chris Moyles? Martin Freeman? Tsk!

TV Cream hasn’t had much time for Parky since he stopped being one of us and became one of them. Conveniently enough for the theme of this blog post, this happened when he himself became “too dull” to bother with anymore as appointment television. This was roughly the turn of the last decade.

It was also the point when he stopped bothering to hide the massive contradiction his career had now become. This can be summed up by another outburst from the latest Radio Times, where he yet again decries the very thing he came to depend upon: celebrity, in particular “the spirit of the celebrity worship that pervades the engine room of modern television.”

That would be the spirit that you spent the last 10 years stoking shamelessly every Saturday night, Mike? But wait, because he has more to say on the rarefied climes in which he now walks.

For he is a journalist first and foremost, and has been using his journalistic conk to sniff out a bone-chilling exclusive.

Apparently there aren’t enough female comedians on television, and “anyone who has ever done a talkshow will understand the problem” – the “anyone” in question being no-one except him, because nobody else has done a talkshow. Fair enough, perhaps, but he doesn’t go on to tell everyone else, i.e. the whole of the population, what the “problem” is. He just says the solution should be a “TV showcase”, presumably like Laughs From Her Majesty’s.

Ah well. He wonders “whatever happened to stand-up”, forgetting he hosted a show that, once upon a time, was the most generous platform for stand-up there was, until it became a generous platform for whatever ITV1 show needed a plug that week. And there you have it: back to the Rubicon the man crossed when choosing to swap the role of adjutant for supplicant.

The difference, in other words, between a brown-and-orange studio set and an electric blue one.

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  1. Chris Hughes

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    The worst bit about Parky’s latest diatribe is him slagging off Celebrity Dog School and Celebrity Most Haunted, when he spent years hosting what was, in effect, Celebrity Charades.

    Anyway, here’s a proper chat show, hosted by a genial, likeable gentleman…

  2. TV Cream

    July 22, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Isn’t he ghastly. And so utterly irrelevant now. That RT column is deliberately provocative. Of course, if they didn’t have a press office no fucker would ever get to read his witterings outside of the ever-shrinking RT fan club.

  3. Adrian

    July 22, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    It’s a shame that Harold Wilson’s chat show never took off..

  4. Louis Barfe

    July 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Aye, ‘appen I did stoke the fire of celebrity worship, but them were proper celebrities wi’ talent. Who can forget James Stewart playing Patrick Moore’s xylophone while having an argument about metaphysics with Diana Dors, Desmond Morris and Cardinal Heenan? And mark well, you don’t catch modern fly-by-night Sachsually harassing so-called chat show hosts at the helm of a speedboat in a seed packet shirt. I shit ’em. Aye, me family were dull, and that’s what made me strive to be so bloody interesting. Cricket! Barnsley! Straight talking! Billy Connolly! Emu! I’m what made Britain great.

    (Mr Parkinson were, sorry, was talking to Louis Barfe)

    More Parky in a speedboat goodness here –

  5. Gavin

    July 27, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Whenever I see a piece about Parky on these pages I frequently see the phrase “Grumpy ol’ Bastard” being used. Which means in initials stands for:G.O.B!

    anyhow here’s something I found on you tube with America’s own Johnny Carson being left speechless by the very beautiful Edy Williams. God knows how Parky would’ve reacted to this!

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