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Michael Parkinson has to phone in after missing Lorraine guest slot

Michael Parkinson has interviewed hundreds of stars during his time as chat show host – but things did not quite go to plan when he was booked as a guest.

The veteran chat show host, 82, was caught up in heavy traffic on Tuesday morning, when he was meant to be promoting his new album on ITV show Lorraine.

“Sir Michael Parkinson was supposed to be here on the sofa next to me but he’s stuck in traffic this morning so there’s an empty chair!,” host Lorraine Kelly said.

“This has never really happened before.”

Ever the smooth operator, Sir Michael was able to carry out the interview on the phone.

“You’re interviewing an empty chair, that’s a new one,” he said.

Sir Michael, who has survived encounters with aggressive puppet Emu and icy guest Meg Ryan during his time as chat show host, said of the traffic: “It’s terrifying. I’ve never seen it worse in London. Today has been absolutely impossible.

“I couldn’t tell you where I am now and I’ve lived in London for years and years and years.

“This is a first for me, to do a television interview on the phone.”

Kelly replied: “I’m so sorry you didn’t make it in this morning but you’ve got an open invite to come in the New Year, any time you like.”