Sir Michael Parkinson, the king of the TV chat show, has interviewed John Lennon, Katherine Hepburn, Nelson Mandela and more than 3,000 people but a single question has driven every one of his interviews.
The show, he said when he was interviewed, was about the indefinable difference between these ‘superstars’ in sport and entertainment and us—the viewers.
“It is the question he says that has driven him on through the 3000-odd interviews he reckons he has done, both on behalf of the folks at home and to satisfy himself. ‘Why? Why you and not me? That is the question that is fascinating.’”
“He does have some answers to that question. ‘Two things I discerned…is that in the main, the people who have it, knew from a very early age what they wanted to be so they didn't spend a lot of their life pondering 'shall I do this, shall I do that?'. They knew from the first show that they wanted to tap-dance, or whatever it was. But the second thing - and this was without exception the rule - was that the very best worked hardest with what they had. They have gifts, of course they do, but they build on them.’”
Stephanie Bunbury, Taking a Shine to Folk, The Age, 26 September 2009.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.