Sir Michael, fondly called ‘Parky’ by friends and fans, became one of the most famous names in Britain after his seminal interviews with Muhammad Ali, John Lennon, Billy Connolly, Orson Welles and most of the world’s biggest stars.

(Picture Credit: Yorkshire County Cricket Club)

There were also wildly comical – and uncomfortable interviews – including being attacked while speaking to Rod Hull and Emu as well as a prickly Meg Ryan in 20 years of BBC interviews.

Sir Michael, who presented his programme Parkinson from 1971 to 1982 and again from 1998 to 2007, was last seen in public in April.

The cricket-mad Yorkshireman appeared frail as he celebrated his friend Dickie Bird’s 90th birthday bash at Headingley. The pair were former team-mates at Barnsley Cricket Club in the 1950s, where he also played with Sir Geoffrey Boycott.

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.’

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) in a statement to Asian Express, said it was devastated to learn of the passing of Sir Michael Parkinson.

“The iconic chat show host was born in Barnsley on March 28. 1935 and was a huge fan of cricket and of our club,” said YCCC.

He was also a close friend with Darren Gough, Managing Director of cricket for Yorkshire CCC, who said: “He was a Barnsley boy, like myself, and it was an absolute pleasure to know him and his family.

“We are all devastated here at Yorkshire and thoughts of everyone at the Club are with Sir Michael’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Sir Michael, a former president at Scarborough Cricket Club, was honoured with a minute’s silence before the Metro Bank One-Day Cup fixture between Yorkshire and Hampshire on 17th August.