Yet, as he prepares to regale stories from the past 50 years in a series of An Evening with stage shows with his son Mike, what a shame that this proud Yorkshireman, universally known as ‘Parky’, is no longer the focal point of the Saturday night TV schedules.
An invitation would be irresistible – even to one Boris Johnson who is one of many politicians who shuns most setpiece interviews in case weaknesses are exposed.
But such an encounter, hypothetically speaking, would have been compulsive viewing because of the beguiling style of ‘Parky’ and an uncanny way of asking awkward questions – how do you explain your relationship with the truth, Prime Minister? – without causing offence.
How broadcasting – and journalism – misses the ultimate interviewer.