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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Tuesday Twat(s)

No. 37. Michael Parkinson.

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Well, it seems that veteran chatshow host Parky has been shooting his mouth off again, criticising his rivals. However, I can't help but think he is completely missing the point. I, like many people, think that Parky is a national treasure. Sure, his gruff Yorkshire accent can be all but impenetrable at times, nevertheless he can wring interesting tidbits out of just about any guest (Meg Ryan excluded obviously - stroppy cow). However, for the second time in recent years, he has been downright rude about other less serious hosts, in particular Johnathon Ross and Frank Skinner. Parky (as we all know, because he won't stop reminding us) stared his career as a "proper" journalist. Ross and Skinner are merely comedians.

Well vive la difference, I say! This weekend, the ubiquitous Ricky Gervais was on both Johnathon Ross and Parkinson. The contrast was perfect and the two shows complemented each other magnificently. First up was Rossy. He and Gervais are longstanding friends and tennis partners - and it shows. The interview was side-splitting, and whilst not rehearsed (Gervais' spontaneous reaction to some of Ross' quips was too unforced for there to have been extensive practise), the two slip into a comfortable double act. Gervais is on the show (at least his third appearance by my count) for one reason only - sure-fire entertainment.

Parky on the other hand gave quite a probing interview. Amid the obligatory arsing about, Gervais gave a thought-provoking insight into the person that he is. For example, despite his seeming ubiquity, he has turned down far more parts than he has accepted.
Two particular points spring to mind.
1) He says that his job is to sit and write scripts with Steve Marchant - that's what he does. Everything else is a distraction.
2) That he doesn't care about ratings (he fought for the Office to be shown on the niche channel BBC2 rather than the mainstream channel BBC1). He would rather that the office was the favourite comedy of 1 million people, rather than the 10th favourite comedy of 10 million people.
rky's criticism is that the Johnathon Ross show and the Frank Skinner show are vehicles for their eponymous stars. What is wrong with that? Ross and Skinner are talented comedians. They have an undeniable talent that his Parkiness lacks. The weird thing though, was Parky's assertion that he is only interviewing entertainers, not politicians, thus he does not need the bite and doggedness of Paxman. Well surely, entertainers being interviewed by other entertainers is the logical conclusion of that argument? I suspect that there is more than a hint of jealousy in Parky's response - after all Ross' viewing figures aren't much less than Parky's and he is arguably higher profile.

So come on Michael, stop being a twat, it's unseemly. If you don't stop pouting, we'll set Emu on you again!




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