Sir Michael Parkinson says chat shows aren’t about chat anymore!

Veteran presenter and chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson has revealed that he thinks most current chat show hosts focus their shows on comedy rather than actually talking to their guests.

As we reported recently, Sir Michael is coming out of retirement to present a new chat show on Sky Arts, and ahead of its debut, Sir Michael made his remarks about current talks shows and their hosts to the Sun’s TV Biz.

He said, “If you look across the board, there isn’t one talk show — apart from Piers Morgan — that is interview based.

“What they are based on is comedy. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just the way it is now.

“But there isn’t one show like I used to do which is based on an interview.

“I don’t know why bosses don’t want the kind of talk show that there used to be. There used to be a group of us all doing the same kind of show, like Michael Aspel, David Frost, Russell Harty…

“But now it has changed — there is a group of people all doing the same kind of show but they are comedy shows. The kind of show I did is no longer there.

“The trouble with talk shows today is that they go for a very narrow band of guests, particularly comedians.

“When I did talk shows I could have on David Attenborough and Billy Connolly. You don’t see that blend nowadays.”

And he didn’t stop there, as he had some criticism for reality TV shows too.

He said, “There is a tendency nowadays, if you look at a lot of talent shows, to put the proposition to young people that it is very easy to be famous.

“All you have to do is go on some talent show and that is it. If you succeed, great, but if you don’t, you are rubbish.

“There is a danger with the growth of these talent shows and other programmes that they are an easy route to fame. A lot of young people are tempted by that.

“But it tells a lie about what real talent is.”

And finally, Sir Michael managed to fit in a little dig at the BBC, saying, “At the heart of my new show is an interview, which is what I have been doing all my life.

“A lot of the type of shows the BBC used to do have now been taken up by Sky, thank God for that.

“The BBC will say it has to look very carefully at the cash situation but Sky is capitalising on bringing back the kind of arts shows the BBC used to do.”

What do you think of what Sir Michael had to say about chat shows being more comedy than talk based? Would you agree or disagree?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.