‘Parky is hardly recognisable here’: Viewers left concerned by Michael Parkinson’s, 85, ‘frail’ appearance on Good Morning Britain as he discusses new book alongside his son
- Michael Parkinson, 85, from Maidenhead, appeared on Good Morning Britain
- The broadcaster was joined by his son Mike, 53, for interview about new book
- Many viewers said they were ‘concerned’ by his ‘frail’ appearance on the show
- One worried viewer commented: ‘Parky looking frail, but still sharp as a pin’
Viewers of Good Morning Britain were left concerned by Sir Michael Parkinson’s ‘frail’ appearance following an interview about his new book today.
The journalist and author, 85, who lives in Maidenhead, appeared on the breakfast programme alongside his son Mike Jr, 53, to discuss the tome, Like Father, Like Son: A family story.
While Sir Michael, who became a national icon during his role as presenter of the BBC show Parkinson, spoke poignantly about his father John William’s death, many viewers appeared distracted by the 85-year-old’s appearance.
Some said he appeared ‘unrecognisable’, while another commented: ‘Parky looking frail, but still sharp as a pin, big part of my TV viewing growing up, brilliant interviewer.’
Another wrote: ‘When did Parky get so old? Mind you, its a privilege denied to so many…’
Sir Michael was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 and received the ‘all-clear’ from doctors in summer 2015 following two years of treatment. He also had to learn to walk again after spinal surgery to repair two ruptured disks in 2017.
Good Morning Britain viewers were left concerned today by Sir Michael Parkinson’s, 85, appearance on the programme
Sir Michael became a national icon during his role as presenter of the BBC show Parkinson (pictured in 2007)
Speaking of his health battles in 2017, he explained: ‘I’m still not too great on my feet but I can stagger around and do my work and there is nothing wrong with the mind.’
The veteran broadcaster appeared on the breakfast programme today alongside Mike Jr to discuss the new book, which he said had initially been inspired by an interview with Piers Morgan.
Sir Michael was left fighting back tears as he opened up about the ‘nightmare’ of his father’s death 44 years ago on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories last year.
At the time, the former journalist welled up as he described how he watched his father Jack Parkinson ‘withering away’ during his battle with the lung disease pneumoconiosis.
Many viewers were left concerned about Sir Michael after his appearance on the breakfast programme, with some calling him ‘frail’
During an interview on the show, Sir Michael went on to describe the devastating moment his father’s body was taken away in a plastic bag following his death in 1975.
And appearing on Good Morning Britain today, Sir Michael told Piers and Susannah Reid that the interview had ‘opened a door which I had kept closed for too long.’
The broadcaster continued: ‘Afterwards, Mike came to the show and we sat down and talked about it.
‘[We said] What happened, for god’s sake? Then we came to this conclusion that it wasn’t just myself who reacted to this death in a very sad way but it had an effect on a lot of people.’
The broadcaster appeared on the programme alongside his son Mike as they discussed their new book Like Father, Like Son: A family story
Sir Michael said he and his son went on to ‘shape the book’ together as a homage to John, who had been ‘a surrogate father’ to his own children.
Meanwhile Mike Junior said he was shocked by his father’s show of emotion on Life Stories, explaining: ‘I was surprised by the strength of the emotion and I’ve worked with him for a long time,’
Yet he added: ‘Tears are not far away from him. I knew [his father’s death] was a very difficult subject for him to address.’
While many viewers were struck by the poignant discussion, some were distracted by the broadcaster’s appearance on the show.
Many of those watching said they were struck by Sir Michael’s appearance, but said the 85-year-old appeared ‘as sharp as a tack’
One commented: ‘Parky’s got that proper old man look and voice now.’
Another added: ‘Parky is hardly recognisable there.’
‘Parky doesn’t look too good…’ a third commented.