Michael Parkinson has said he was glad to leave ITV last year, after three years on the network.

The chatshow legend defected to ITV from the BBC in 2004 after growing unhappy over the latter's scheduling of his programme.

But while he has confirmed he would have liked to film one further series at ITV, the 73-year-old has now given a withering assessment of the broadcaster.

"ITV was in trouble and still is," he told the Daily Mail newspaper.

"It was a very unhappy building to be in. I didn't want to spend the last days of a very enjoyable career in a place that was as depressed as that was."

The TV veteran also admitted to looking back at his early shows in disbelief.

"I look at the old shows and think: 'Who thought that was any good?' The way we looked, for God's sake. Ruddy great trouser bottoms and we thought we were Jack the Lad.

"And I wasn't a particularly convincing interviewer, either. I was very stiff. I thought I was a proper journalist, you see. I was trying to behave like a proper journalist in a showbiz situation. The trick was accepting that I was part of the showbiz aspect, too."

He added: "I came to say it was like interviewing while tap-dancing. But it took a while to understand that."

27/09/2008 12:21:33