Sir Michael Parkinson sobs over his dad’s death from a lung disease 44 years ago

Sir Michael Parkinson sobs over his dad’s death from a lung disease 44 years ago


Veteran chat show host Michael Parkinson wept on camera as he spoke of his dad’s death 44 years ago.

Parky, 84, told interviewer Piers Morgan: “I’d never seen anybody I loved die and I saw my dad die.”

Jack, a miner, got lung disease pneumoconiosis from coal dust and passed away in 1975.

Michael and his mum, Freda, brought Jack home to die.

“You could see him withering away,” he said. “For a man as vigorous as he was, it was like watching leaves fall from a tree.

“The thing that kind of nags at me like a nightmare is that two guys came to take the body away.

“I see the image very clearly and I thought he’s got to be worth a lot more than that… carrying him out in a little plastic bag.

“He knew how much I loved him. I never found it difficult to say that to him – nor he to me.”

Parky, knighted in 2008, owned up to battling drink and “misbehaving” after his dad’s death.

Piers said later: “I wasn’t expecting him to be so raw. He’s a tough Northern gritty guy.”

During their chat, Piers asked what qualities he got from his father.

“I’m not as nice as he was,” Parky laughed. “But I learned a love of sport, a love of humour.”

He laughed again as he recalled his dad asking him why he didn’t “thump” Muhammad Ali after a difficult interview.

Parky, born in Cudworth, near Barnsley, South Yorks, retold the story of how cricket fan Jack once “kidnapped” his daughter-in-law Mary when he found she was due to give birth in Manchester.

“He told me ‘I’ve moved her to Wakefield. Manchester’s in bloody Lancashire.

“If he’s born there, he can’t play for Yorkshire’.”

  • Piers Morgan’s Life Stories is on ITV Saturday night at 10pm.

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