Ryan Tubridy praises Michael Parkinson's 'bold as brass' spirit on what would have been his 89th Birthday

Virgin Radio

30 Mar 2024, 11:02

Credit: Virgin/Getty

Celebrating the legacy of a talk show legend.

Ryan Tubridy, always one for commemorating special occasions, took a moment on Virgin Radio to pay tribute to the late Michael Parkinson on what would have been his 89th birthday.

As Tubridy remarked: "Birthdays today on the 28th of March, and a very significant birthday."

Indeed, the significance lay in honouring the memory of Michael Parkinson, the titan of tv who was renowned for his captivating interviews with celebrities, who some have described as 'the great British talkshow host.'

While Parkinson may have left a void in the world of entertainment since his passing on August 16th last year, Tubridy ensured that his spirit lived on through fond memories and heartfelt anecdotes.

Reflecting on his interactions with Parkinson, Tubridy shared: "Well if he was alive today, Michael Parkinson would have been 89 and he's somebody I looked up to a lot and then interviewed him several times and went for a bag of pints."

Describing an intimate gathering at O'Donoghue's on Merrion Row, Tubridy fondly recalled sharing a few pints of Guinness with Parkinson and his son, Michael Jr., alongside members of his own family.

It was during these convivial moments that Parkinson's that Tubridy described a particular interesting evening when Parkinson: "just opened the box of tricks and we exchanged war stories of stuff that you couldn't tell anyone ever because it just wouldn't be fair, necessarily, but it was fun!"

One can only imagine what it might have been like to have been a barfly on the wall at O'Donoghue's that night, or even just pour the pints for the pair, as they shared salacious gossip about some of the world's most famed stars.

Tubridy didn't let on as to what exactly was said during that time but he was ready to heap praise on Parkinson, who he dedscribed as some with a 'twinkle in their eye' and 'bold as brass'.

This demeanour truly shone through, leaving an indelible impression on Tubridy.

Tubridy's admiration for Parkinson extended beyond his professional achievements, encapsulating the warmth and camaraderie shared during their interactions.

"Thank God, I liked him an awful lot. I have to say," Tubridy remarked, emphasising the genuine connection they shared beyond the confines of television studios and interview settings.

In addition to reminiscing about Parkinson's birthday, Tubridy also delved into his recent appearance on Mark Wogan's Spooning podcast, where he discussed his favourite and not-so-favourite interviews with various celebrities.

For Tubridy, a good interviewee is someone who transcends mere promotion, demonstrating authenticity and genuine engagement with the conversation.

“In terms of guests that I love, there are a few that I always think about because they showed up, and they didn't just come in to flog something.”

As Tubridy's heartfelt tribute to Michael Parkinson came to a close, it was evident that the legendary talk show host's legacy would continue to inspire and resonate with audiences and interviewers alike, transcending time and space to leave an enduring impact on the world of entertainment.

Listen to Ryan Tubridy’s mid-morning show on Virgin Radio UK, weekdays 10am - 1pm. 

Spooning is out wherever you get your podcasts. Episodes are released every Thursday. Watch along via @virginradiouk on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok.