Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 11:35 UK

Parkinson 'too expensive for ITV'

Sir Michael Parkinson
Parkinson's guests have ranged from Orson Welles to John Lennon

Sir Michael Parkinson has claimed that his long-running chat show finished because ITV bosses thought he had become too expensive.

The curtain came down on the veteran broadcaster's eponymous chat show last November after more than 30 years.

The 73-year-old told The Radio Times that ITV chairman Michael Grade said he cost too much.

“Michael Grade told me with a straight face that I was too expensive," said Sir Michael.

'Time had come'

"Shortly after, we were talking about guests for the final show and someone at ITV mentioned Liz Taylor. They said they would go up to £250,000. Barmy idea - and I was too expensive?

"But I don't want it to seem as though we left in an acrimonious fashion, because we didn't. I would have liked one more series, to be frank, but my time had come to leave. I knew that."

Parkinson's chat show began on BBC One in 1971 before he switched to ITV in 2004.

Guests on his shows included Nelson Mandela, former Beatle John Lennon and film-maker Orson Welles.

Parkinson bows out with honour
29 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Parkinson takes chat show to ITV
26 Apr 04 |  Entertainment

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