THE LAST WORD... ‘ Like a con­ver­sa­tion at a party, it can quickly’ sud­denly go south quite

WITH GRA­HAM NOR­TON, RING­MAS­TER AND HOST OF THEGRAHAMNORTONSHOW

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - THE LAST WORD... - WithDeb­bieSchipp

“I LIKE when you don’t know any­thing about some­body and they just come out and they’re a great sur­prise.

The show is more like talk­ing to peo­ple than in­ter­view­ing some­one.

Like a con­ver­sa­tion at a party, it can sud­denly go south quite quickly – where you re­alise, ‘God, why did I start talk­ing about this? I for­got that her son’s in jail’. That kind of thing. In a way what’s helped is that the show has been on so long I think guests un­der­stand the show and know noth­ing bad is go­ing to hap­pen to them. We want them to be funny; we want them to shine.

There’s al­ways those weird mo­ments back­stage where you see peo­ple talk­ing to each other who would never nor­mally do so. Re­ally early we had Grace Jones and Ju­dith Chalmers on the same show, which was al­ready a very good com­bi­na­tion of guests.

It was the first time my par­ents had come to the show and they’d flown in from Ire­land. Of course my mother and fa­ther were de­lighted to meet Ju­dith Chalmers. They couldn’t be hap­pier. I re­mem­ber Grace Jones stood with some sort of (milliner) Philip Treacy thing on her head and I said to my fa­ther, ‘Ooh, would you like to meet Grace Jones?’ My fa­ther looked over and he went, ‘No!’ Most peo­ple, once they’re in the room, they’re just an­other per­son. But there are a few peo­ple where that kind of star bub­ble doesn’t go away.

With Tom Cruise it doesn’t go away. I’d say with Madonna it doesn’t re­ally go away. Then there are peo­ple like Jen­nifer Lopez or Char­l­ize Theron where they’re just oth­er­worldly. They’re like an­gels.

If Ge­orge Clooney walks into a room, that’s a big deal, but there aren’t that many of those old-fash­ioned movie stars.

I used to get very ner­vous be­fore shows. When I did stand-up I used to get ner­vous.

Then I was do­ing a thing for the New Zealand tourism board. It was an aw­ful gig. In drama school they were very strict about not drink­ing, but I was at this drinks party so I was stand­ing there with a glass of wine.

I took a cou­ple of sips and be­cause you’re in a kind of height­ened state you can re­ally feel the al­co­hol in your sys­tem. It didn’t blur any­thing; it just took the edge off.

Since then – 25 years ago – I’ve al­ways had a glass of wine. I of­ten don’t fin­ish it; I just hold it, like a lit­tle prop. That’s the glass of wine you still see me with on the show.” THE GRA­HAM NOR­TON SHOW FRI­DAY, 8.30PM, TEN

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