Affectionately known simply as Parky, Sir Michael Parkinson was one of the world's greatest interviewers.
His easy manner, combined with his experience as a journalist, meant he produced some of history's most memorable sit-down chats.
Among his high-profile guests were Sir Billy Connolly, Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John, Dame Helen Mirren and Madonna.
And he also become well-known for his no-nonsense responses to other stars like Meg Ryan, who seemed like she did not want to be there.
Speaking about his famous chat show, Parky once reminisced: 'I've had a ball. What a job to have. And they paid me too!'
The show Parkinson started in 1971 on the BBC and featured US jazz singer Marion Montgomery as his first guest.
Among his high-profile guests were Sir Billy Connolly, Muhammad Ali (above), Sir Elton John, Dame Helen Mirren and Madonna.
Michael Parkinson interviews actress Meg Ryan in the chat which ended in some hostility
It would run for 11 years and then return in 1998 for another go before switching to ITV, amassing an incredible 2,000 guests.
The excruciating interview with US actress Meg Ryan and the moment Parkinson was attacked by Rod Hull's Emu are probably his best-known moments.
Sleepless In Seattle Ryan appeared to want to be elsewhere, giving Sir Michael a series of brief answers.
He asked 'if you were me, what would you do now?' she replied: 'Just wrap it up?'
Parkinson later called her 'an unhappy woman', while Ryan branded him a 'nut' and said he had spoken to her 'like a disapproving dad'.
However in 2021, Sir Michael offered an apology to Ryan for the infamous interview, telling Radio Times: 'I wish I hadn't lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I'd dealt with it in a more courteous manner.
'I was quite obviously angry with her and it's not my business to be angry towards the guests. I came across as kind of pompous and I could have done better.'
Sir Michael Parkinson labelled Dame Helen Mirren a 'sex queen' in 1975 interview and asked if if her 'equipment' undermined her credibility
Sir Michael Parkinson with comedian Billy Connolly who was a regular guest on his show
Parkinson often joked his career would always be remembered for 'that bloody bird - Rod Hull's Emu.
The puppet famously attacked him on the chat show sofa, and wrestled him to the ground.
It is a clip that is regularly repeated over the years and won an army of new fans thanks to the internet.
Late football legend George Best was also a regular and was first interviewed in 1971 and then again in 1973.
Best had just quit Manchester United for the first time and he opened up on pressures of life away from the pitch.
'I don't go into pubs and walk up to people and ask them if they want a fight,' he told Parkinson.
'If I walk into a bar or a club, there's always someone who wants to come up and hit you over the head with a pint pot and then go to work on Monday morning and tell their mates. I used to put up with it, but if they're going to walk up and threaten you, if you smack them in the mouth first, they're not going to go and tell their mates they sorted you out, are they?
Michael revealed Yoko wasn't as approachable as John (pictured) in their 1971 interview, which was once believed to be lost
Michael said he doesn't enjoy watching his 1975 interview with Helen Mirren (pictured), after he suggested that having big bosoms could detract from her performance
'It happens everywhere. I've been hit over the head by a 65-year-old woman! I was sitting watching a show, and she walked up and hit me over the head with her handbag. I don't know. Maybe she wasn't enjoying the show.'
Their last interview was in 2001 as Best was diagnosed with severe liver damage and was on a waiting list for a transplant.
He told Parkinson: 'Alcoholics Anonymous works for a lot of people and it saves their lives, but it didn't work for me.'
And in 1981 Parkinson's sit-down with Muhammad Ali saw viewers glued to the screen.
Ali was far from the persona he presented in many other chats and was intimidating during the exchange.
Parkinson often joked his career would always be remembered for 'that bloody bird - Rod Hull's Emu
Michael Parkinson interviewing the great George Best in 1975. 'Best was the greatest player I have ever seen,' writes Parkinson
He declared: 'I'm not just a boxer. I can talk all week on millions of subjects.
'You do not have enough wisdom to corner me on television
'You are too small mentally to tackle me on nothing I represent.'
One notorious interview was with a 30-year-old Helen Mirren in 1975. She wore a low-cut black dress.
Parky asked her if her 'equipment', her 'physical attributes', hindered her desire to be considered a 'serious actress'.
'You mean my fingers?' replied the actress. 'Come on, spit it out. Serious actresses can't have big bosoms, is that what you mean?'
Parkinson said his favourite ever interview was with Dr Jacob Bronowski, a renowned scientist, who created television documentary The Ascent of Man
'Well,' he said, 'they might detract from the performance.'
Speaking later about the show he admitted that he did not like to watch it back.
He said: 'I was my most pompous self. By today's standards, I plead guilty to being sexist.
'We both lost our tempers. I don't enjoy watching it back, because I reveal an unattractive side.'
But however the interviews went, it was clear Parkinson found them a privilege to conduct - with one in particular.
He said in 2021: 'The question I am always asked is 'What was my favourite interview?'
'Well, it's an impossible question, and the answer I give always surprises.
'It was with a man called Dr Jacob Bronowski, a renowned scientist, who created that towering achievement of television documentary making, The Ascent of Man.
'It was one man's account of the horror of what Nazi Germany did to the Jews.
'And it is profoundly moving because he is such an extraordinary man.'