Graham Norton has welcomed all manner of A-list celebrities onto his talk show over the years, but as for the worst he’s ever interviewed? Well, his answer for that has just changed.
But while the host is perfectly placed to dish the dirt on the famous faces that grace his sofa, he often remains fairly diplomatic when it comes to sharing what he thinks of them.
That said, he did once name a beloved veteran actor as his least favourite guest – saying Robert De Niro was a somewhat ‘benign’ presence.
But Norton has now rethought his answer, having spoken about the topic at a public event in Dublin celebrating the launch of his latest novel Forever Home.
According to Joe, the presenter was asked about the worst guest he’d ever had on the show, prompting him to name a certain disgraced movie mogul – and not just because he’s now in prison after being sentenced to 23 years for rape and sexual assault.
Norton explained: "I often talk around who my least favourite guest was, but now, someone reminded me, I have a really good answer to this now. It's Harvey Weinstein. He's in jail, so he gets the prize for the worst guest ever.
"And actually, it was weird, because he asked for my e-mail. And he e-mailed me something very nice, a complimentary thing. And then he decided he wanted to be on the show, because he was going to promote something.
"And it was a show that was fully booked, so I replied saying 'Oh, thank you so much, but the show is fully booked'. He e-mailed back: 'What if I blah de blah de blah'. [I replied] 'No, the show is fully booked, blah de blah.'
"And he e-mailed back again, 'But I think...', and I just had to turn to my booker and say 'Can you please deal with this?' And at the time, I thought that sort of attitude, that kind of 'Oh no, I'm going on', that is what makes you a very good producer.”
Weinstein had appeared on the show in 2015, when he was joined by David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Jessie J.
Norton added: "But of course, now that we know what we know, that is what makes him a predator. It was that kind of weird, tunnel-vision thing. And it was sort of chilling in retrospect, because I was just laughing at those emails. But you realise 'Oh my God, that is an insight into how that man is'."
As for his issue with De Niro, Norton said it was all down to his storytelling, as large portions of his interview had to be ‘cut’.
Speaking to an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival a few years ago, Norton said: "He’s not a storyteller, or very verbal.
"He’s a benign presence. Last time he started telling a story – he went on and on.
"We were all leaning in, willing it to be amazing... then he finally went, ‘why am I telling this?’ Nobody had an answer. We cut it."
Featured Image Credit: Stills Press/Alamy Stock Photo/BBC
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