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07th Oct 2022

Graham Norton reveals the worst guest he’s ever had on his show

Rory Cashin

“It was sort of chilling in retrospect…”

Over the years, when you interview as many people as Graham Norton has interviewed on his hit show, you’re bound to have a few duds.

When quizzed about which of the celebrities was his least favourite, he’d often give a vague answer about someone without actually naming them, until about four years ago, when he out-and-out picked Robert De Niro.

But hindsight can be a powerful thing, and since then, Norton has updated his answer.

JOE attended a conversation in Dublin with Graham Norton, as he embarked on the book tour for his latest novel Forever Home, and he was asked about the worst guest he’d had on his show.

Norton answered with the following:

“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.

“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’.”

The episode in question aired in 2007, with Weinstein joining David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Jessie J on the red couches.