Sir Michael Parkinson embarrassed by how 'posh' he used to speak in early TV career

Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances as he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.

The 86-year-old television presenter and talk show host was born and brought up in Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner, and got his big break when as a young journalist he was asked to do a screen test.

Sir Michael told Christine Lampard on Lorraine: "The big break came in '61/62 when Granada Television in Manchester, a wonderful company to work for in those days, asked me to do a screen test, and I did and I look now with terrible embarrassment at the way I used to speak."

<p>Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances as he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.</p>
<p><br>The 86-year-old television presenter and talk show host was born and brought up in Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner, and got his big break when as a young journalist he was asked to do a screen test.</p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Sir Michael Parkinson is embarrassed by the 'posh' voice he used to put on for TV. (Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub)

Mimicking his old screen voice he went on: "I was terribly posh, 'Hello, how are you?'

Read more: Michael Parkinson offers olive branch to Meg Ryan 18 years after car crash interview

"I don't know where I got that from - nobody in my family or immediate friends spoke like that at all, quite the opposite. But there I was - terribly posh."

Lampard laughed: "Once you're on the telly you have to be posh!"

<p>Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances as he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.</p>
<p><br>The 86-year-old television presenter and talk show host was born and brought up in Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner, and got his big break when as a young journalist he was asked to do a screen test.</p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Michael Parkinson got his big break on TV after screen testing for Granada in the early 60s. (Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub)

Sir Michael is to celebrate his career with a new documentary on BBC One - Parkinson at 50, due to air this weekend, looking back at his past TV interviews.

Speaking about watching his old shows back he said: "I find it difficult when people ask the question ‘What was your favourite show?’

"There are just so many, I mean how many did we do? Hundreds.

<p>Sir Michael Parkinson has confessed he is embarrassed to watch back his early TV appearances as he talked with a fake 'posh' accent.</p>
<p><br>The 86-year-old television presenter and talk show host was born and brought up in Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner, and got his big break when as a young journalist he was asked to do a screen test.</p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Sir Michael Parkinson and Christine Lampard joked about talking 'posh' on TV. (Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub)

“They weren’t made to be shows that you would look back on forever, I mean they were of their time.

“I don’t wander around wishing there were a library of my shows. I don’t do that at all, I don’t feel that way.

“I am just very happy to have survived the ordeal.”

Television chat show host Michael Parkinson who was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace. The popular interviewer, who has quizzed the world's top stars over 30 years in the business, claimed he did not really deserve the honour.      * Parkinson claimed he did not really deserve the honour for doing
SirMichael Parkinson was given a knighthood by The Queen in 2008. (PA)

Sir Michael recently offered an olive branch to When Harry Met Sally star Meg Ryan for a notoriously difficult interview he did with the Hollywood actor on his chat show 18 years ago.

Read more: Michael Parkinson STILL won’t apologise for awkward Helen Mirren interview

After being accused of not enjoying fame, Ryan eventually snapped to the host: ”Wrap it up.”

He told the Radio Times: “I wish I hadn’t lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I’d dealt with it in a more courteous manner. I was quite obviously angry with her and it’s not my business to be angry towards the guests. I came across as kind of pompous and I could have done better.”