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Friday, 24 February 2012

Talk Talk
Connolly's not here yet?
Oh Jesus. By all accounts Michael Parkinson – professional Yorkshire-born gruffbag  – is coming out of retirement to host his own talk show again. Just what telly needs, yet another outlet for celebs to have themselves tickled under the chin.
Now, Parkinson would quibble at that description, I have no doubt. It’s clear from his quotes about his latest televisual skirmish that he thinks he offers viewers something new. He grumbles: “If you look at Graham (Norton), Jonathan (Ross) and that chatty person (Alan Carr), the host is as important as the guest. That’s fine but there isn’t the kind of show that I used to do...We’re kind of stuck in this area where it’s all about humour. It’s certainly not about interviewing.”
Well, fuck me. Call Billy Connolly. And David Beckham. Oh, and Billy Connolly again, because every time they’ve appeared on his show in the past (they’re on some 3-week rota or other) they sure as shit don’t get the business end of Jeremy Paxman, do they? No, they get to breeze their way though a few carefully chosen anecdotes at the growly nudging of best mate Parky who would rather renounce flat caps than offend them. It’s celeb chin-tickling at its fawning best so it beats me why Parkinson has the bulging hump over the likes of Norton and Ross.
And, yeah, Parkinson may be remembered for his must-watch interviews but they are now dust-bunnies under the futon of modern telly. Muhammad Ali? His last interview with Parkinson was in 1981, thirty one years ago. And Rod Hull and Emu? That was in 1976, thirty six years ago.
Problem is, the world, telly and the juggernaut of celebrity has changed since then. If Parky thinks he can take his pick of A-listers and grill them until they sweat spinal fluid then I fear he is deluded. Their PRs would be all over him like syphilis and the show producers would live in fear of pissing off the screen meat. His no-nonsense recipe for a show would soon be diluted and before you know it he’d be interviewing Billy fucking Connolly for the fifteenth time.
All of which means that Parkinson needs to wake the frig up. Unless he really is going to make a new interviewing mark and to fuck with the modern etiquette of celeb-loving, that is. Otherwise we’d better gird ourselves for yet another foray into Connolly’s well trodden past. Oh, and another and another...

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