In an Ali interview, Michael Parkinson calls the US TV legend a “cheeky b*****d.”
Dick Cavett has a grudge against Michael Parkinson, who claims the US TV host “humiliated” him during a joint interview with boxing star Muhammad Ali.
Sir Michael Parkinson, 86, had a great career as a talk show host in the United Kingdom, but he ran into trouble when he was paired with US TV veteran Dick Cavett, 84, to interview Muhammad Ali in 1974.
During the sit-down interview, the ITV star was “humiliated” by Cavett, who did not allow him say anything and later hoped to confront him about his behavior.
“I was looking forward to having a word in his ear,” Parkinson says in a recent interview. “But at the end of the show, he performed a backflip over the settee, went to the back of the set, got to the car, and drove off.”
Cavett had gone three years without hearing from him until he unexpectedly received a phone call.
“Hi Mike, do you know Larry Olivier?’ he said. ‘Do you believe you could make an introduction for me?’
“I just wanted to scream, ‘F*** off.'” I, on the other hand, did not. ‘I don’t know him very well,’ I just said. ‘You cheeky b*****d!’ I exclaimed. He understood how horribly he’d treated me, after all,” he told Radio Times.
Cavett was most known for hosting The Tonight Show and his own show in the United States.
Parkinson interviewed Ali four times during his career, the first time in 1971, six months after he lost The Fight of the Century to Joe Frazier.
The media treated it as if it were a boxing bout, and while the first Frazier fight shown that Ali’s three-and-a-half-year ban had weakened him as a boxer, his charm had not.
“There was a lot of public interest before that initial interview, and he didn’t disappoint us,” Parkinson had stated. You couldn’t believe it when you first met him.
“He was such a large, graceful man, so good-looking and domineering, as if to say, ‘You won’t meet many people like me in your life.’ Nobody came close, he was right.
“I’d interviewed celebrities I’d idolized since I was a kid, such Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, as well as all the beautiful Hollywood women I’d adored. Ali, on the other hand, was genuine.”Brinkwire Summary News.”