HE'S INTERVIEWED more than 2000 of the most important cultural figures of the last two centuries.
But ask much-loved talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson what is the proudest moment of his career, his answer may come as a surprise.
"It's being awarded Honorary membership of the Musicians Union," he said.
"Music has given me such joy in my life and my respect for anyone with musical talent knows no bounds. To be accepted into their inner circle without an ounce of musical talent is a real honour."
While the 84-year-old British broadcasting icon may not credit himself as much of a muso, he has talked to the best in the business over his decades-long TV career from Paul McCartney and Madonna to Australia's own Kylie Minogue and Hugh Jackman.
Jackman is one of many Australians he has interviewed and he admits to having a long love affair with the country. In the 1980s, Parkinson hosted the top-rating talk show Parkinson on the 10 Network. And he has even appeared in Neighbours, playing himself.
No surprise then that he is bringing his An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson tour to our shores, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of his first Australian TV series, the hit ABC show Parkinson in Australia - a talk show that for many defined their Saturday night.
"It gives me great joy to come back to Australia with this show and share some great stories with my Australian friends and fans," Parkinson said in a statement.
"The show is myself in conversation with son and long term producer Mike who takes me though my life and career with the help of some classic clips from the Parkinson archive," he said adding that he's looking forward to sharing anecdotes about the people he's talked to over four decades - the best and the worst.
He said his best interview was British mathemetician and scientist Professor Jacob Bronowski.
"It was the one time that the shape and progression of the interview went exactly the way I had prepared," he said.
"But that was more to do with Professor Bronowski's perfect command of the English language and his forensic mind than my interviewing skills."
As for the interview he'd most like to forget, he recalls his chat with Norweigan anthropologist Tor Heyerdahl, famous for the Kon-Tiki expedition in the Pacific.
"Once, when they were still with us, I sat down with [TV journalists] Alan Whicker and David Frost, both of whom I liked and deeply admired, and we agreed to write down on a piece of the paper the worst interviewee we had all interviewed," he said.
"We then showed each other at the same time. Each of us had written down Thor Heyerdahl. We all agreed he would not be our first choice as a crewmate on a deep sea cruise."
The Australian tour wiIl also be a chance for Parkinson to fondly remember his time in Australia and some of the Aussies he has met and interviewed over the years.
These include encounters with Kerry Packer, Shane Warne, Max Gillies, Kylie Minogue, Ian Thorpe, Clive James, Dame Edna Everage, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Paul Hogan and the late Bob Hawke.
As well as his long-running BBC television talk show Parkinson (on air from 1971 to 1982, and 1998 to 2007), Parkinson is a noted author and radio broadcaster.
He is also known for his unquenchable love of sport - in particular cricket.
"An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson will be an unforgettable experience, both interactive and intimate," he said.
"There will be laughs and tears - but mostly laughs, I promise."
An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson dates
- Perth Riverside Theatre, October 10
- Adelaide Festival Theatre, October 15
- Sydney Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, October 17 and 19
- Melbourne Hamer Hall, October 22
- Brisbane QPAC, October 24
For tickets, click HERE