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Sir Michael Parkinson uncomfortable at BBC

Press AssociationPress Association 23/11/2016

Renowned journalist and interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson says he "still cannot believe his luck" after a 60-year career.

The Yorkshire-born television personality, 81, said he had always felt uncomfortable at the BBC and described it as a "very strange place".

His comments came during a discussion about his life and career with BBC's Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young at the Bafta headquarters in central London on Wednesday.

Taking his turn in the interviewee's chair, he said he felt he "didn't belong at the BBC".

"I felt I didn't have the right education. The unease was never enforced, but it seeps into the woodwork."

Growing up in the mining village of Cudworth, he said "you can't shake that off, no matter where you go, so it makes you less confident."

"I was always waiting to be found out...You never quite believe your luck."

He said while he worked with many great and supportive figures at the company, when his career took off in the 60s and 70s it was a "strange place run by strange people".

Parkinson became a familiar face on both the BBC and ITV because of his intimate celebrity interviews, most notably on the BBC show Parkinson.

He shed a tear as he remembered some of his most memorable interviewees, especially mathematician Jacob Bronowski, who shared with him the story of a visit to Auschwitz after losing family members in Nazi Germany.

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