"After three enjoyable and productive years at ITV, and after 25 years of doing my talk show I have decided that this forthcoming series will be my last," he said in a statement today. "I’m going to take next year off to write my autobiography and consider other television projects. My thanks go out to all those who have worked on the shows down the years and the viewers for their loyal support and occasional kind words."
The final series of Parkinson will have a 12 week run on ITV1 in the Autumn.
"As someone who worked with Michael in a very junior role in the 1970s and was involved in bringing him back to prime-time television in the 1990s, I have been delighted to work with him once again in these last three years at ITV," said ITV director of entertainment and comedy Paul Jackson. "He has defined the talk show in British television and no-one has come near to equalling his record. His name is synonymous throughout the English speaking world as a benchmark for integrity and quality in the talk show genre and being invited to appear on his show is a recognised landmark in any star’s career. We are delighted to be talking to Michael about new projects for 2008 and we will be working with him and his team to ensure that this last series sends him off in the style which he so richly deserves."
Parkinson executive producer Mark Wells said: "Truly, this is the end of an era. Michael Parkinson is one of the giants of broadcasting, his skills as a talk show host are quite simply the best in the world. The Parkinson show has been a part of the British Saturday night for so long, it’s hard to imagine life without it."