Michael Terence Aspel, OBE (born 12 January 1933) is an English journalist and television presenter. He has been a high-profile TV personality in the United Kingdom since the 1960s, presenting programmes such as Crackerjack, Aspel and Company, This is Your Life, Strange But True? and Antiques Roadshow. Aspel was once married to the actress Elizabeth Power, best-known for her role in EastEnders.
From there he went to the BBC as a newsreader, becoming one of the country's most familiar faces during the 1960s and 1970s as a regular presenter of the evening news. He was also a presenter on Family Favourites on BBC radio.
He narrated the now cult BREMA cartoon documentary, The Colour Television Receiver (aka Degaussing), a film to 'familiarise engineers of some differences between a mono receiver and a colour receiver, from the point of view of adjustment and installation..', which was shown regularly on BBC2 between August 1967 and January 1971.
He also provided narration for the BBC nuclear war documentary The War Game, which was judged too horrifying and politically charged to be shown on BBC TV. It won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar in 1966, but it was not shown on British television until 1985.
He moved on to a wide variety of light entertainment roles. These included the long- running BBC children's TV series Crackerjack and Ask Aspel. In 1969 and 1976 he hosted the BBC's A Song for Europe contest and provided the UK commentary at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1976. Aspel was also a regular host of Miss World. He also had a regular joke slot on the Kenny Everett radio show on Capital radio.
He also guest-starred twice on The Goodies, appearing as himself, notably in the episode "Kitten Kong", which won the Silver Rose at the Montreux Light Entertainment Festival.
In the 1970s, Aspel appeared with a number of other newsreaders and presenters in a song-and-dance routine on The Morecambe and Wise Show. The sketch, in which the presenters were dressed as traditional sailors, is often cited as one of the classic moments of British TV comedy. In another episode, Morecambe refers to him as "Michael Aspirin".
Aspel also presented a mid-morning music and phone-in programme on Capital Radio in London in the 1970s, as well as popular ITV programmes such as Give Us a Clue, Child's Play and The 6 O'Clock Show, a live current affairs and entertainment programme shown only in the LWT (London) region.
In 1993, Aspel and Company was censured by the Independent Television Commission over a deal with the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood and Matthew Freud's PR company to secure an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. The trio effectively hijacked the programme, and at one point Aspel started reading from the menu, asking the guests if hamburgers and fries were really the way to "body beautiful".
He presented a new version of the ITV gameshow Blockbusters for the BBC in 1997. 60 programmes were made.
In 2003, Aspel starred in a BBC Three spoof documentary which claimed he had affairs with Pamela Anderson, Valerie Singleton and Angie Best, among others. Several well known celebrities were claimed to be love children from these and other conquests, including Daniella Westbrook (with Pamela), Shane Lynch (with Valerie), Mel B (with a West German Eurovision Song Contest entrant), Melinda Messenger, Gail Porter, Michelle Heaton and Ben Shephard.
In 2004, Aspel announced that he had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
He has guest hosted the topical quiz show Have I Got News for You on two occasions (October 2005 and November 2007).
He is a supporter of the charity Cancer Research UK.
Weekend Life Mag: The great survivor - Michael Aspel ; He first began broadcasting in the mid-1950s and, at the age of 68, still has three TV series on the go. Graham Young catches up with the legendary Michael Aspel
Jun 02, 2001; BY the time most people have passed 65 they have their carpet slippers firmly welded to their feet. Not so Michael Aspel. Now 68,...
Weekend Life Mag: The Great Survivor - Michael Aspel; He First Began Broadcasting in the Mid-1950s and, at the Age of 68, Still Has Three TV Series on the Go. Graham Young Catches Up with the Legendary Michael Aspel
Jun 02, 2001; Byline: Graham Young BY the time most people have passed 65 they have their carpet slippers firmly welded to their feet. Not so...