Michael Parkinson on that notorious Meg Ryan interview: 'Who does she think she is?'

Updated: 

Michael Parkinson has admitted he got cross with Meg Ryan during their infamous chat show interview because he thought she was rude to Trinny and Susannah.

In a wide-ranging chat with Kirsty Young at a retrospective at Bafta, he said Ryan made him angry when she refused to co-operate.

He told Young he thought Meg was not keen on being interviewed because she had just split up with Russell Crowe and was promoting a film that had been slammed.

He added: "I never used to talk to people before except to say, "Hi, how are you," before they came on the set. On this occasion I had to go to her dressing room and went out there and said hi to her.

Michael Parkinson
(Jamie Simonds/BAFTA)

"And she was sitting on one side of the dressing room staring at the wall, and the entourage were at the other side staring at the wall, I thought, "Hmm, this is going to be cosy." So I just said to her hi, and I introduced myself, and she wasn't up for it at all.

"But the point was, and I understand that, and a lot of people are nervous and all that sort of thing, your job is to make them less nervous.

Meg Ryan on the red carpet at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where her directorial debut film Ithaca will screen.
(Hilary Leverton Duncanson/PA)

"But the thing that really did it was I had on the guest beforehand, and she was sitting behind the set watching it on a monitor there, so she knew damn well what was going on.

"And when she came on she simply ignored the two women, the fashion girls there used to be, whatever their names were (Trinny and Susannah).

"And she came on and just ignored them, and just sat down. And so she was being rude, she moved her chair so she was like front on to me and they were sort of looking around the corner.

Trinny and Susannah
Trinny and Susannah (Anthony Upton/PA)

"And then she started, I said, "Did you enjoy that fashion item?" "What fashion item was that?" Well she knew which fashion item it was, she was pretending she had fallen asleep or something, and she started to get under my skin, she really did, I mean she was rude to people.

"And I can't bear that you know, they've done a job, they've set the tone for her, and here we are and she's just not cooperating. Who does she think she is? And so that was my mood, I got cross with her, so we had a little sort of a disagreement."

Parky said he was tempted to wrap up the interview long before Meg suggested he did but kept ploughing on in case he struck TV gold.