Sir Michael Parkinson's cause of death revealed after legendary broadcaster passed away aged 88

1 September 2023, 18:23

Sir Michael's cause of death has been revealed
Sir Michael's cause of death has been revealed. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

The cause of beloved chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson's death has been revealed.

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Sir Michael, who died aged 88 earlier this month, was a legendary broadcaster who interviewed around 2,000 high-profile celebrities including Muhammad Ali, Sir Billy Connolly, Sir Elton John and Dame Helen Mirren among others.

His spokesperson said on August 17 that he had "passed away peacefully at home in the company of his family" after a "brief illness".

His death certificate listed his cause of death as "frailty of old age".

Sir Michael's son said on Friday that he has to allow the public's mourning for his father to die down before they can "remember him as a dad and as a husband".

Read more: Legendary broadcaster and talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson dies aged 88

Read more: Tributes pour in for Sir Michael Parkinson, after legendary broadcaster and talk show host dies aged 88

Sir Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael Parkinson. Picture: Alamy

Mike Parkinson reflected on the scale of tributes after his father died, he said: "We didn't expect the kind of outpouring, we didn't expect what happened. I mean, not just here but in Australia.

"I mean, Australia, there was a golf course he used to be a member of and they put the flag at half mast. Remarkable kind of gestures like that.

Sir Michael was described as "the king of the chat show" and an "incredible broadcaster and journalist" after his death.

In a statement, BBC director general Tim Davie said: "Michael was the king of the chat show and he defined the format for all the presenters and shows that followed."

"He interviewed the biggest stars of the 20th century and did so in a way that enthralled the public. Michael was not only brilliant at asking questions, he was also a wonderful listener.

Sir Michael Parkinson at the Hay Festival bookshop signing copies of his book My Sporting Life in May this year
Sir Michael Parkinson at the Hay Festival bookshop signing copies of his book My Sporting Life in May this year. Picture: Alamy

"Michael was truly one of a kind, an incredible broadcaster and journalist who will be hugely missed."

Sir Michael, who was fondly called 'Parky' by friends and fans, became one of the most famous names in Britain after his seminal interviews over four decades.

In 2013 the presenter revealed he was receiving radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer.

He said he got the all-clear from doctors two years later.

Sir Michael was born in Cudworth, near Barnsley, in 1935. He left school aged 16 and cut his teeth in journalism at the Barnsley Chronicle before being drafted for National Service.

Sir Michael in 1974
Sir Michael in 1974. Picture: Alamy

After becoming the youngest captain in the Army, Sir Michael joined the Daily Express.

His big break on Fleet Street came after he was handed a weekly sports column in The Sunday Times in 1965. Sir Michael moved from newspapers to television in the late 1960s when he was offered a role on Granada as a local reporter.

He was made a CBE in 2000 and was knighted in 2008.

Parky, who presented his programme Parkinson from 1971 to 1982 and again from 1998 to 2007, was last seen in public in April. He appeared frail as he celebrated his friend Dickie Bird's 90th birthday bash.

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