Parkinson Series 25, ITV1

by | Dec 18, 2004 | All, Reviews


1 Dame Judi Dench. Seemed rather overwhelmed to be following Sharon Osbourne – “I’ve led a rather quiet life. You put me to shame.” But she was lovely and told some good stories including the one about the bald actor who wore a wig and carried round a container of dandruff to sprinkle on his shoulders. Her best line came when explaining why she doesn’t like watching herself on screen – “I’m a 5 foot 10 willowy blonde and I can’t bear seeing a dwarf come on.”

2 Sharon Osbourne. Her stories of triumphs over weight problems, a fearsome father, outrageous Ozzy and colon cancer were interesting and could have been riveting if it were not for Parky’s frothy manner and the audience’s silly giggling

3 Dame Edna Everage. The usual routine “drives, needs, caring etc”. Best line was directed at Sharon – “I love The X Files [sic]. It gives so many opportunities to people with so little talent.”

1 Nigella Lawson Utterly charming on death and licking the spoon. Loved the fact that she wore a cardie.

2 Paul O’Grady A better chat show guest than host. Covered Boris Johnson, prostitute pals, fake tans and women who moan about the toilet seat being left up (“If we left it down and peed all over it, you’d have something else to say.”)

3 Lauren Bacall Seems the sort who could turn nasty but Parkie’s sycophancy kept her calm. We could have done without the kissing at the end.

1 Donny Osmond Charming. Talked about music and his British ancestors.

2 Eddie Izzard Dull. Talked about Charlie Chaplin.

3 Clare Teal Okay but she’s no Rowetta (from X Factor)

4 Jeremy Clarkson Dull. Talked about machines.

1 Michael Palin Hilarious on the topics of cough sweets, the Dalai Lama, climbing, reincarnation (he was an elephant), the rugby World Cup final, a love poem to a yak and boring Yorkshiremen

2 Ant & Dec “We’re a pair of bitches to be honest”. As loveable as ever.

3 Julie Andrews. Charming even though she now looks like the charmless Anne Robinson. Came armed with plenty of anecdotes.

4 Tom Jones & Jools Holland Bit dull for our crazee tastes.

1 Joan Rivers Trotted out old jokes on cue

2 Cliff Richard Trotted out old anecdotes on cue

3 Jamie Oliver Trotted out tongue-tied nonsense on cue

1 Tom Cruise. Seemed uncomfortable with Parky telling him how great he was but proved to be articulate about his life and job. Skillfully rebutted Parky’s “Scientologists are nutters” question – causing the host to stutter “It’s not necessarily my opinion.”

2 Razorlight Not a bad slice of bland pop, enhanced by a gospel choir. The singer’s similarity to Lief Garrett was a plus, though.

3 Billy Connolly. “The superstar of comedy” had Parky and Cruisey laughing hysterically. To us, though, he’s like a clockwork monkey drummer – amusing at first but before long, you’re desperate for the power to run out.

4 Kelly Holmes. Lovely girl but Parky failed to get anything out of her apart from the “living the dream” stuff we’ve heard ever since she breasted that winning line in Athens.

1 Ricky Gervais. Parky is used to smarmfests but he coped well with Ricky’s foul-mouthed tales of cab journey pranks, jogging, Flanimals and the Emmy Awards (“I was rubbing shoulders – not iterally, they don’t like that – with Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone.”)

2= Kevin Kline. So sophisticated, witty and liberal that it’s almost impossible to believe he’s American

2= Joanna Lumley. Lovely as ever.

4 Beverley Knight

1 Frank Skinner The boy who sat in the outside toilet as a kid pretending he was being interviewed by Parky finally got his wish. Was most interesting when talking about his Booze Hell (“I didn’t go to AA meetings. I didn’t drive then. I was too drunk”).

2 REM We don’t think the greatest group in the world should really be slumming it on ITV but we’re glad they did

3 Matthew Pinsent Was interesting.

4 Lenny Henry The Mr ADD of Comedy was madcap (some would say tiresome), but responded well to Parky’s interviewing style which boils down to cueing in well-rehearsed anecdotes. It sounded like he’d get interesting when talking about being the butt of jokes – but was interrupted by Parky linking to an ad break. Doh!

5 Il Divo. Simon Cowell’s operatic discoveries. They sang Unbreak My Heart in foreign. They did it well. But they still left us cold.

1 Simon Cowell – even though Parky seemed to uncomfortable having to pander to ITV’s reality TV obsession

2 Denzel Washington. Dull

3 Ronan Keating. Dull

4 Naomi Campbell. Self-obsessed.

1 – Meera Syal. Beautiful, intelligent and thoughtful. She also displayed wonderful, self deprecating dry humour, stating that she and Sanjeev Bhaskhar fell in love during a long flight to Australia and “after five vodkas”, but she also had a lot of things to say about self-harm, being British-Asian and about life in general. Great stuff.

2 – Lauren Bacall. She is simply a goddess, she shone bright and has earned her right to be a legend and she was hilarious. But, on the other hand, she also reminded us of Jackie Stallone/Little Britain’s Bubbles/Doctor Who’s Cassandra, and her flirting with Parky was eerily similar to the clip of Granny Kumar flirting with him.

3 – Olivia Newton-John. She’s looking gorgeous and was very nice, but she was also mind-numbingly dull, reaching grand new depths of tedium when she sang Cilla Black’s Anyone Who Had A Heart.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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