Michael Parkinson's 'dear friend' shares details of emotional phone call with star days before death
| Last updated
The television industry was rocked on Thursday after it was announced legendary interviewer and chat show host, Sir Michael Parkinson, had died at the age of 88.
"After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family," his family told the BBC in a statement.
"The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve."
In a long career where he became an icon of British telly, he interviewed countless celebrities and was known for developing an incredible rapport with those he spoke to.
The BBC show Parkinson ran first between 1971 and 1982 before another stint, which started in 1998, and hopped over to ITV in 2004 before concluding in 2007.
In recent hours, Bird has been paying tribute to his 'dear friend', while also sharing details of an emotional phone call he had with Parkinson just days before his death.
The pair had actually been good pals since they met on the cricket pitch back in the 1950s, with Dickie saying he doesn't know 'how I will cope' after losing his friend.
Dickie, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, told PA News Agency: "I shall miss him, I’ll tell you that. Not only was he a friend but he was a dear friend and I just don’t know how I will cope, I will miss him so much. There will never be another Parky."
Parkinson actually made a rare public appearance at Dickie's 90th birthday bash at Leeds' Headingley Stadium in April.
The pair seemingly still had a close bond, with Dickie speaking to the TV legend on the phone just days before the host died.
"He only rang me the other morning," Dickie added. "Just a couple of days ago really. We had a catch up. I said 'you keep going lad', and he said 'no, you keep going'. This is a real shock."
He continued: "We were so, so close. His friendship meant more to me than anything else.
"It meant so much to me. Our friendship, if I wanted any advice I would ring Parky up. He helped me in so many, many ways."
Ending his heartfelt tribute, Dickie promised that their 'friendship will always stand' and that Parkinson 'will always be my closest friend and my dearest friend.'