Sir Michael Parkinson made Billy Connelly household name after crude on-air

This Morning: Sir Michael Parkinson dies aged 88

Billy Connelly was launched to fame back in 1975 when he first appeared on Sir Michael Parkinson’s chatshow and surprised audiences with a very risqué joke.

Sir Michael died on August 17 at the age of 88 after a short illness after a successful 50 years interviewing the biggest stars.

One of those was comedian and actor Billy Connelly, who told risky joke before his appearance.

Sitting down with the TV presenter, Billy noted: “I hope I can get away with this. It’s a beauty.

“He said: ‘How’s the wife?’ He said: ‘Oh, she’s dead, I murdered her. I’ll show you if you want’. So he goes away up to his tenement building and through the close.

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“Sure enough, there’s a bit mound of earth – but there’s a bum sticking out of it. He says: ‘Is that her?’ He says: ‘Aye’.

“He says: ‘What did you leave her bum sticking out for?’ He says: ‘I need somewhere to park my bike’.”

The joke received applause and a laugh from Sir Michael, despite being close to the mark for its time.

Billy later reflected on the joke and noted: “When I finished that show I flew back to Glasgow and the whole airport started to applaud.

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“I thought: ‘I think I’ve done something here’. I just wish I never looked back from that moment.”

Sir Michael sat down with 2,000 celebrity guests during his career and spoke to the likes of, Fred Astaire, Orson Welles, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Paul McCartney, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, Madonna, John Cleese and Mel Gibson.

Michael’s chatshow ended in 2007, with the star touching on his final show: “Over the years it has been a privilege to meet some of the most intelligent and interesting people.

“It has always been a great joy and I shall miss it.”

A statement from Sir Michael’s family said: “After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family.

“The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve.”

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