TV host Michael Parkinson refuses to apologise over ‘sexist’ Helen Mirren interview about her ‘big bosoms’

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MICHAEL Parkinson has said he refuses to apologise over his “sexist” 1975 interview with Dame Helen Mirren about her “big bosoms”.

During the infamous interview, the veteran broadcaster and TV host asked the young actress whether her “equipment” distracted audiences.

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Parkinson has said he refuses to apologise over the ‘sexist’ interview[/caption]

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Dame Helen has since described the encounter as ‘enraging’ and ‘extremely creepy’[/caption]

In 1975 he introduced Mirren as the'sex queen' of the Royal Shakespeare Company
In 1975 he introduced Mirren as the ‘sex queen’ of the Royal Shakespeare Company
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Parkinson had introduced Mirren, then 30, as the “sex queen” of the Royal Shakespeare Company and said she was “good at sluttish eroticism”.

During an interview on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Parkinson blamed the different social standards of the 1970s.

He said: “I feel it’s of its time, and of its time it’s embarrassing. It was over the top, absolutely so.”

When Morgan said there was overwhelming evidence that his comments were sexist, Parkinson, 84, said: “Well, maybe. But nobody got hurt, nobody died.”

The retired presenter said he had interviewed Mirren since but they had never addressed their dispute directly.

He added: “She said what she had to say, I said what I had to say, and that’s the end of it.”

In 2016, Parkinson had vowed he will never apologise to Mirren for an interview with her that caused the infamous sexism row.

The ex-chat show king declared 40 years after the notorious show that it was just “good television”.

He introduced the then rising star as the “sex queen” of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

What was Helen Mirren's reaction to it?

The actress, now 73, told the Telegraph: “That’s the first talk show I’d ever done. I was terrified. I watched it and I actually thought, bloody hell!

“I did really well. I was so young and inexperienced. And he was such a f****** sexist old fart.

“He was. He denies to this day that it was sexist, but of course it was.”

She has since discussed the sexism that she says was rife throughout the 1970s, saying it was still a problem for women as men became bolder.

The clip of her hitting back at him during the now infamous interview has regularly re-emerged in recent years

He has denied his actions and comments were sexist, arguing “if you didn’t live in that time, you’re not allowed an opinion”.

Parky did admit he may have been “a bit over-reactive” but insisted she “presented a provocative figure”.

He said he has done nothing he is ashamed of and there is no need for an apology.

The 84-year-old added: “Am I a sexist? No, I’m Yorkshire.”

Parkinson, now 84, also spoke of her “slutty eroticism” — and asked if her “equipment” barred her from being taken seriously as an actress.

Dame Helen has since described the encounter as “enraging” and “extremely creepy”.

When she asked what he meant he looked her up and down and said “your figure”.

She hit back: “Serious actresses can’t have big ­bosoms — is that what you mean?”


The veteran broadcaster revealed that he and Dame Helen, now 71, have never ­buried the hatchet.

He said: “I don’t want to. Nor does she. I don’t regard what happened there as being anything other than good television.

“There is no need to apologise, not at all.”

Parky, now 81, also spoke of her “slutty eroticism” — and asked if her'equipment' barred her from being taken seriously
Parky, now 81, also spoke of her ‘slutty eroticism’ — and asked if her ‘equipment’ barred her from being taken seriously
Splash News
When she asked what he meant he looked her up and down and said'your figure'
When she asked what he meant he looked her up and down and said ‘your figure’
Splash News

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