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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Parkinson quits as talk show host
Michael Parkinson
"Parky" has been a British TV institution for decades
Veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson has called time on his distinguished career as a TV chat show host.

"After 25 years of doing my talk show, I have decided that this forthcoming series will be my last," he announced.

The 72-year-old said he still planned to work in TV but intended to take next year off "to write my autobiography and consider other television projects".

Parkinson's final series on ITV1 - his seventh since leaving the BBC in 2004 - will be screened in the autumn.

"My thanks go out to all those who have worked on the shows down the years and the viewers for their loyal support and occasional kind words," he added.

Familiar format

Regarded by millions as the king of the chat show, "Parky" first hosted his celebrity interview show in 1971.

Over the next 11 years he welcomed hundreds of guests to BBC Television Centre in west London, from Hollywood stars to sporting legends.

Despite his popularity, Parkinson's Saturday night show ended in 1982. In 1998, however, he returned to the BBC, this time on Fridays.

His defection to ITV took many by surprise, although the familiar format survived the switch unscathed. He said at the time he moved after BBC bosses tried to move his chat show slot.

In recent years Parkinson, who was made a CBE in 2000, has been outspoken in his criticism of his younger chat show rivals.

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