Football legend George Best to be remembered by Sir Michael Parkinson in Conversation at NCH
The legacy of one of sport’s greatest talents will be discussed by his good friend Sir Michael Parkinson on May 19th as he launches his book George Best: A Memoir
“George was unique, the greatest talent our football ever produced – easily.”
— Sir Alex Ferguson
“George Best was a diamond. With a little flaw there.” — Harry Gregg
On May 19th at the National Concert Hall, the late footballing legend George Best will be remembered by his good friend and respected broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson for the launch of Parkinson’s new book George Best: A Memoir.
In conversation with his son and co-author Mike, Parkinson will remember his special and close 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.
50 years after he was named European Footballer of the Year, Parkinson will reveal his thoughts and reflections on why a man who seemingly had everything tragically decided to throw it all away.
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 2,000 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. Best was plucked from the obscurity of Belfast’s Cregagh estate at the age of 15, and despite a shaky start he went on to score 179 goals from 470 appearances over 11 years, helping to lift Manchester United’s first European Cup in 1968 in a team that included Bobby Charlton and Denis Law.
“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”
– George Best
Just as football made him a star, Best’s life was also characterised by his lavish lifestyle, his difficult relationships and a propensity for self-destruction. Often dubbed ‘the fifth Beatle’, Best was arguably the first footballing megastar, and his dabbling in the fashion industry and other businesses was certainly ahead of its time, if ill-advised.
By the time he passed away in 2005, 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 quick, two-footed, beautifully balanced. He could hit long and short passes with equal precision, was swift and fearless in the tackle and he reintroduced the verb ‘to dribble’. He was as imaginative and whimsical in midfield as he was economical and deadly given a chance at goal.” — Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael Parkinson
Parkinson began as a journalist on local newspapers, and his Yorkshire background and accent remains. During the 1960s, Parkinson moved into television, working on current affairs programmes for the BBC and Manchester-based Granada Television. From 1969 he presented Granada's Cinema, a late-night film review programme, (which included his first star interview with Laurence Olivier), before in 1971 presenting his eponymous BBC series Parkinson, which ran until 1982 and from 1998 until December 2007, leaving the BBC for ITV1 partway through the second run, however he avoided posing his usual confrontational questions. He has stated that the most remarkable man he ever interviewed was Muhammad Ali, and regrets never having interviewed Frank Sinatra.
For a broadcaster, Parkinson holds an unrivalled place in British culture. He appears on the cover of the Paul McCartney and Wings album Band on the Run. Paul McCartney told Parkinson that he would appear on his show if Parkinson appeared on the album cover, although it was not until 1999 that McCartney fulfilled his promise.
More recently, footage of a 1964 interview between Parkinson and the Rolling Stones' frontman Mick Jagger was used in the music video of American pop rock band Maroon 5's 2011 single "Moves like Jagger".
An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson
To mark the publication of his new book George Best: A Memoir
Sunday May 19th, 2019, 8pm
Tickets: €40, €35
Tickets on Sale Wednesday 5th December 2018, 10am
Friends of the NCH can book from today, Monday 3rd December, 10am
Friends receive a 10% discount on tickets
NCH Box Office Tel: 01 417 0000 or www.nch.ie
For further Information please contact: Michael Quinn, Marketing & PR, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 417 00 84 or 086 358 2014