Parkinson bows out of Beeb
Michael Parkinson has left the BBC after more than 30 years working with the corporation.
10:21 09 May 2004
Veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson has left the BBC after more than 30 years working with the corporation.
The 69-year-old talk show host insisted his last programme for the BBC was not a "solemn occasion".
In his last show before joining ITV, Parkinson was joined by guests including Irish group The Corrs, entertainer Bruce Forsyth and tennis star Boris Becker.
And at the end of the show, which also featured musician Jamie Cullen and comedian Patrick Kielty, he thanked his guests and ended simply with: "And thank you for joining us. Goodnight."
The presenter made his decision to leave the BBC after bosses at the corporation attempted to move his Saturday night show to make way for the return of Match of the Day and ITV offered him an exclusive two-year deal.
"I'm very sorry to leave the BBC, of course I am," he said last month. "I have spent 20-odd years of my working life with the BBC and I don't turn my back on that lightly.
"But when the BBC brought back Match of the Day, effectively my spot had gone."
Parkinson has stressed that his new ITV show will be a similar mix of music and celebrity interviews, to the one he has presented on BBC One for the past 18 years. He first presented the show in 1971.
The talk show host left the BBC in 1982 to become a founding presenter on TV-am and did not return for 15 years. He will still continue to present on BBC radio but is unlikely to return to the corporation as a television presenter.