Thank fuck for that, it's the end of Parky.
It's a shame in a way that he ever came back at all: boosted by a few repeats of the handful of 70s interviews that were actually any good, the crag-faced professional Yorkshireman managed to claw his way back onto the BBC in the 90s for another series of blethering twaddle, effectively sending telly back twenty or thirty years in the process. I wouldn't have minded if he'd been any good, but can anyone remember any of the interviews that he's done since the comeback? Any of them? No. I'm sure there's some poor bastard researcher on minimum wage sitting in a BBC shed somewhere trying to splice together clips of his recent works onto a re-edited Parky obit as I write this, and unluckily for him it's been fairly slim pickings since about 1975.
I couldn't do justice to hating Parkinson without mentioning this spectacular article here, which I often read whenever I'm feeling a little bit low about the world, for it cheers me up immensely with its savagery of attack, clarity of thought and brilliance of language. Lovely stuff, and I heartily recommend it; far better than anything the Ghostwatch-fronting tosswipe has done since his heyday - but was that heyday even as glittering as we remember? Hang on a minute, I hear you say, what about the Ali interviews? They were brilliant, weren't they?
Ah yes, we'd better get to Ali sooner or later. The myth goes that Ali v Parky was like Fischer v Spassky or Sigmund Freud bumping into Albert Einstein, a great battle of minds and wills, a jousting contest with the intellect between two titans. I'm pretty sure it's a myth that Parky would like us to believe as well. But if you look back at the Ali interviews again, Parky's made to look like a chimp by Ali - someone whose views on women, clearly stated on screen, leave a lot to be desired in the modern world - yet Parkinson couldn't challenge them with any intelligence or wit whatsoever. Either he didn't have the journalistic ability to show them up, or he was so starstruck that he decided to let it slide. As TV Cream points out, he didn't have any problems slagging of Kenneth Williams.
Not only has Parky managed to pollute the TV since his comeback, he's also been wittering away on the radio every Sunday lunchtime, playing the same old Frank Sinatra / Michael Buble dogshit that he trots out every week in a slightly different order, while wheeling in a couple of celebs to plug whatever it is they're selling that week. A waste of time that jars with the rest of Radio 2's entire output (apart from giving that waste of carbon Russell Brand a show), it just appears that this was chucked in his direction when he came back to the Beeb, and he clung onto it when he jumped ship with the TV show back to ITV after a hissy-fit about Match of the Day and how 'primetime' Parky really thought he was in the modern media age.
The good news is he's fucking off the radio as well as the TV. And I'll be happy in the knowledge that something better's coming up on a Saturday night - anything will be better. Let's face it, the chat show has become a vacuous parade of people with something to sell. Davina McCall made it excruciating, Jonathan Ross makes it the Jonathan Ross Aren't I Clever and Funny in a Cheeky Way Show. Parky might wheel out Billy Connolly every now and then to entertain the London audience with his hilarious Scottish accent, but it's generally the same old shit it was except worse, Hollywood stars telling us to watch their films and B-list entertainers trying to crank up a few DVD sales before Christmas.
Look at the last guest list for an example of what I mean.
David Beckham - professional celebrity. Has fragrance to plug.
Michael Caine - professional geezer. Has film to plug.
Dame Judi Dench - professional 'national treasure'. Has TV series to plug.
Peter Kay - professional northerner, just like Parky. Presumably has something to plug, a Christmas DVD, though he's not done anything funny for about five years.
Billy Connolly - professional guest on Parkinson.
Jamie Cullum - professional rectangular-headed freakboy. Has Parky to thank for his mediocre talent at approximating the middle-of-the-road wank that he loves so much getting much more of an audience.
David Attenborough - I actually don't have a bad word to say about him, so that's one good guest.
Dame Edna Everage - Someone who actually made the chat show format much more interesting than Parky ever could.
So that's it. A couple of exceptions, but a pisspoor list to see off the old bugger. Perhaps that's what he deserves, a whimper rather than a bang. Let's just hope there's something decent on the other side so I can sail past the lot, and then by Sunday he'll be gone, gone from the TV, gone from the radio, gone forever. And good riddance.