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Sir Michael Parkinson apologises to Meg Ryan over infamous 2003 interview

Written by on 24/08/2021

As awkward TV interviews go, Sir Michael Parkinson’s frosty chat with Hollywood star Meg Ryan in 2003 is one of the most infamous.

The chat show king, now 86, was faced with a stony-faced Ryan, who delivered one-word answers as she promoted her poorly received erotic thriller The Cut.

Despite a long and industrious career interviewing A-listers and high-profile figures, it has gone down in history as one of Sir Michael’s most memorable shows.

Now, almost 20 years later, the TV host has offered Ryan, now 59, an olive branch and admitted neither of them were on “top form”.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Sir Michael said: “I wish I hadn’t lost my temper with Meg Ryan. I wish I’d dealt with it in a more courteous manner. I was quite obviously angry with her and it’s not my business to be angry towards the guests. I came across as kind of pompous and I could have done better.”

Asked what he would say to Ryan if he saw her again, Sir Michael said: “I’m sorry. But you must understand that you played a part in it, too. Neither of us were on top form, and we were both discomforted.”

Sir Michael has been asked about the infamous interview many times, and once called Ryan an “unhappy woman” and a “bore”, while she branded him a “nut” and said he had spoken to her “like a disapproving dad” over the nudity in her film.

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The TV host softened in later years and said he regretted his handling of the interview, but has now said he would apologise to Ryan.

The actress, best known for films including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, at one point during the 2003 interview told Sir Michael to “wrap it up”, and had allegedly been rude to fashion duo Trinny and Susannah, who were also guests on the show, before her appearance.

Sir Michael announced his retirement from TV interviewing in 2007.

 Sky News

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