Pal Michael Parkinson tracks George Best's road to self-destruction - frikilife.comMichael Parkinson and George Best faced one another countless times in interviews. Their conversations were mutually respectful, even intimate, yet always brimming with searching questions and revealing answers. The great Manchester United and Northern Ireland attacker - one of the few sports personalities to merit the term 'iconic' - was almost always candid, lucid and self-effacing. Alcoholism had him in its grip from an early age, affecting the love affairs that fed the tabloid headlines, but there was far more to Best than booze and birds. In George Best: A Memoir, Michael Parkinson draws upon decades of award-winning journalistic experience to re-evaluate a remarkable footballer and a damaged friend. The book weaves together recollections of when the 'the fifth Beatle' ensured it was Manchester, not London or Liverpool, which made the Sixties swing; of Best enjoying a carefree kickabout with the Parkinsons' children in the family garden; and selected transcripts from their endlessly fascinating interviews.
SIR MICHAEL PARKINSON REMEMBERS GEORGE BEST - GRANADA REPORTS INTERVIEW, NOVEMBER 2018
Pal Michael Parkinson tracks George Best's road to self-destruction
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For more than 40 years George Best was someone Michael Parkinson called a friend. The legendary TV chat show host first interviewed Best in then just a timid year-old homesick kid from Belfast, breaking into Manchester United's first team. Five years later, Best would be the most recognisable footballer on the planet: scoring the second goal in United's European Cup Final win against Benfica. But a darkness wasn't long in rearing its head. Parkinson documented much of this in his book, Best: An Intimate Biography, and in the numerous exclusive TV interviews he's conducted with Best over the ensuing decades. This current tome reproduces large passages from both: with Parkinson interlinking a personal - and often critical - commentary as he goes; pointing out that as the decades rolled on, a pattern of sorts emerged: Best's persona became more village fool than charming global superstar. There were stints in prison; bankruptcy; public assaults; treatment for addiction; and suicidal tendencies too.
Parkinson will, alongside his son and co-author Mike, remember his relationship with George Best, whom he first met as a whip thin, Belfast boy with film star looks and a footballing talent that dazzled the world for a generation. As part of the evening, father and son will also look back on the life and career of Sir Michael Parky Parkinson himself, whose incredible career spanned decades and saw him interview over 2, of the most important cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries in an inimitably familiar and intimate style. Among his most popular interviews were those he shared with his great friend George Best, whose best footballing years came with Manchester United. By the time he passed away in , Best had lived a life of many guises. Once a star with the world at his feet, it seemed at times that his troubles had become the main feature of his life. Despite it all, football fans across the world are forever thankful for the footage, the quick wit and the incredible legacy of George Best, the Belfast Boy. He was as imaginative and whimsical in midfield as he was economical and deadly given a chance at goal.