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My boss, chat-show veteran Michael Parkinson, brought the below article to my attention this morning, which I thought I’d share. A really interesting piece in The Independent about the talk-show – and how, these days, it simply doesn’t exist. Today, chat-show hosts are comedians looking to rinse their subjects (Alan Carr), or interviewers looking to boost their egos (Jonathan Ross). Now, I happen to like both Ross and Carr’s shows; both are on my Sky+ and I personally think Ross is all the better for having moved from the stale BBC to the fresher ITV; and Carr has revived Channel 4’s heyday of chat in the wake of Graham Norton selling himself out to BBC One. However, Gerard Gilbert is 100% accurate in his commentary. He speaks highly of my boss and what he did for TV interviews and, although I am biased, he’s right. I could be on “Mastermind” and have the “Parkinson” back-catalogue as my specialist subject – trust me! But I never fail to admire what Michael did for the talk-show. Gilbert rightly points out that some of his interviews bordered on psychoanalysis. It was deep, serious discussion, with humour thrown in. Today, its humour, with absolutely no seriousness thrown in. Ross interviewed Cheryl Cole on Saturday night. Personally, I’d love to hear all about the difficult couple of years she has had, in-depth. But no chance. She was frosty, barely cracked a smile and was on guard the entire time – quite rightly so, given that Ross continued to throw insinuations at her about her love life and her relationship with Simon Cowell. Every question was peppered with mocking or baited with sarcasm. Michael respected his guests which you honestly can’t say about Ross – however entertaining it might be to watch a celebrity squirm.

Gilbert concludes by pointing out that reality TV is the new method of scrutinizing a celebrity for what they really are. As he points out, if it weren’t for the recently finished season of “Celebrity Big Brother” we might not have known that under Julie Goodyear’s sweet old lady facade is a rather terrifying persona. I have had the pleasure of associate producing Michael’s new series, “Parkinson: Masterclass”, with Sky Arts HD. I’m excited for it to hit screens this Autumn so that the public can be reminded of what a real interview is about. Gerard, if you happen to read this (I will be posting this to your Twitter) make sure you’re watching – you won’t be disappointed.

Read the piece here…

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/time-to-reclaim-the-chat-show-from-comedians-8120453.html

– – A

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