Review: An Evening With Sir Michael Parkinson, Grand Opera House, York, February 19

SIR Michael Parkinson is 85 not out, a score that would have delighted him in his days opening the Barnsley batting against York with Dickie Bird.

Parky and Dickie turned up for Yorkshire trials at the same time, Parky facing Fiery Fred Trueman and Raymond Illingworth, no less, in the nets. "Does he have a job?" Yorkshire coach Arthur "Ticker" Mitchell asked Dickie of his floundering colleague. Cub reporter at the Barnsley Chronicle came the reply. He better stick to that, sniffed Ticker.

He may move at a Boycott batting pace these days, but Parky was quickly into his stride in a talk show where the reet grand inquisitor of the great, the good, and the screen god transformed from interviewer to interviewee in the company of his son, another Mike Parkinson with a gift for the pertinent question.

Parky and son talked cricket; Dickie's eccentricities; hating his days at Barnsley Grammar School; his grandfather and father working down the pit; his wake-up call to not follow suit; his mother knitting in the back row of the movies alongside film buff Michael.

From early steps in Fleet Street's golden era, he moved to the new revolution of Granada TV, and there was footage of Michael interviewing young Mick Jagger as the lippy Rolling Stone predicted his band might last another year. It was September 1963; both Michaels are still doing shows.

Over the two hours, to the accompaniment of clips, the Parkinson double act recalled Connolly, Dame Edna, Hollywood glitterati, four bouts with Ali. "Why didn't you punch him?" his dad asked after Ali 's famous flare-up.

One disappointment: no time for audience questions. CH