“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – Muhammad Ali
Yet another one of my heroes in life has passed, a truly inspirational man who made such an impact on so many people’s lives, my thoughts are with your family Muhammad Ali RIP. He stood for so much; equal rights, the opportunity to make something of our lives, the list goes on. My favourite tribute Michael Parkinson;
“He was the most extraordinary man I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a few”
Michael Parkinson has paid tribute on Sky Sports News.
The first time I met him, he walked across the studio floor towards me, and first of all I was struck by the grace and elegance of his movement, and the size of him. Then I became obsessed by his hands – he had the longest fingers of a boxer I’d seen. They were the fingers of a concert pianist rather than a pugilist.
He was the most extraordinary man I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a few. He didn’t have any reservations about behaviour, and what he should or should not say. So what you got was raw: he could be funny, nasty, aggressive. He was a package you could not predict.
The nicest thing that’s ever happened to me in television was when his family came over with the Ali exhibition earlier this year. We had a call from them saying that he loved to watch the Parkinson interviews on YouTube. He would point and say, ‘Watch this, I get him here’, and all that. They asked if we could put together a compilation on disc to save him going on YouTube. Those interviews defined my career in many ways.
His charisma was palpable. You were sitting with a guy who was box-office. He could sell tickets – and sell himself – better than anybody else I’ve ever met. And he couldn’t stop talking. It was never an easy ride with him, but my word it was a fantastic experience”