Airdate: Parkinson: Masterclass

5parkySir Michael Parkinson is back next weekend, his first new show on the ABC for five years (he did come to Australia to film a Pay TV special in 2009, ironically at ABC studios).

The Masterclass format is slightly different, allowing for interviews from the audience, but essentially this is Parky doing what we love him for: conversation.

First guest is War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.

Sir Michael Parkinson returns to our screens from a five-year absence to host a new series where he welcomes an array of guests from across the artistic spectrum. And, in his inimitable style, embarks on a fascinating and intimate insight into their careers, which have set them apart from their contemporaries and propelled them to the very top of their field. Each show features unique performances from the guests who are able to demonstrate the work for which they have become so well-known.

Author Michael Morpurgo, jazz artist Jamie Cullum, portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, war photographer Don McCullin, classical pianist Lang Lang, and principal dancer Carlos Acosta, join Parkinson for in-depth interviews which get to the heart of how they have honed and perfected their techniques and abilities throughout their careers.

Each program also features questions from the studio audience. The audience is made up of the general public and also students from a vast array of disciplines that have been specially selected to gain an insight into the subject.

In this opening episode Parkinson interviews Michael Morpurgo, author of over 100 books, whose career was transformed by his novel War Horse. Parkinson quizzes the author on the secret of his success and discovers how the book, first published 30 years ago, became an international success when it was transformed into a theatrical masterpiece by the National Theatre and later into a feature film directed by Stephen Spielberg.

Parkinson: Masterclass 10pm Sunday April 14 ABC1.


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