On joining the Meteorological Office in November 1962, his first posting was to Gatwick Airport. On promotion in 1965, he transferred to the Met Office headquarters in Bracknell to work on research projects. Later, while based at the London Weather Centre, he took a sandwich course in Applied Physics at the City University.
Remaining at the London Weather Centre, his broadcasting career began in 1972 when he started broadcasting for BBC Radio and, in January 1974, he became part of BBC Television's weather team when they were looking for a new 'young' image. At the start there were only 3 live broadcasts a day to the UK, using a mixture of felt-tip pens and magnetic rubber. On retirement, there were well over 100 broadcasts a day to the whole world, using sophisticated computer graphics.
He has made hundreds of 'non-weather' appearances on television and radio - shows ranging from light entertainment, such as Let's Dance for Sport Relief, Loose Women, TV Burp, Basil Brush, Showbiz Poker, Countdown, Pointless and Weakest Link to factual programmes, such as Panorama and Sky At Night. He has also been involved in the training of television weathermen in various African countries. He has written numerous articles on travel and weather and acted as consultant for several meteorological books.
In 1985 the punk group Rachel and Nicki released a record dedicated to him called "I wish, I wish, he was like Michael Fish". This was featured on the 'Wogan' programme but did not reach the charts. Some years later he did reach the 'Top Ten' when featured on the 'John Kettley is a Weatherman' single.
He will always be remembered for the mis-reported 'Hurricane' forecast in October 1987 but there were other highlights such as wiping out thousands of pigeons and the wrong sort of snow.
Several years ago he was voted the 'Worst Dressed' and the 'Best Dressed' man on television in the same year. Four times in recent years he has been acknowledged as 'Tie Man of the Year'. He is famous for his 'Fish' motif ties of which he has over 100 and which he always wears on television.
In December 1996, Michael was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by The City University, London and, in August 1997, he was granted the Freedom of the City of London. In June 2004 he was made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. In July 2005 he was further honoured by an award of Doctor of Science from Exeter University.
In 2004 he received the TRIC award of TV Weather Presenter of the Year shortly before retiring in October. Also in the same year he was pronounced a 'National Treasure' by the Sunday Times!!
More recently he tried his hand at acting going on a provincial tour of 'The Play What I Wrote', the Morecombe and Wise tribute. Much to everyone's surprise nearly every performance was a sell out and his acting received 'rave reviews'. He followed this up with an appearance at the Shaw Theatre in the West End in 'French Paste'
The supreme acolade was the 'Hurricane' clip being used in the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony and seen by about 1 billion people throughout the World.
He is a Patron of numerous organizations and charities, not least Age Concern, Eastbourne.
Michael, who lives in Middlesex, is married to Susan and has two grown up daughters, Alison and Nicola. A Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, his hobbies include being a grumpy old man, travel and food and wine. He is now a granddad to Madeleine born in November 2010.
His time at the moment is spent on the after-dinner and lecture circuit as well as doing voice overs, adverts, award ceremonies, writing articles, publicizing Climate Change and as a 'relief' weatherman on BBC South East. He also writes a regular article for the Daily Express.