The Gra­ham Nor­ton Show

Irish Independent - Weekend Magazine - - Eating Out -

WFri­day, BBC1, 10.35pm The Great Gra­ham

hy is Gra­ham Nor­ton so much bet­ter at host­ing a talk show than any­one else? In a re­cent in­ter­view with The Guardian, he gave an amus­ing pos­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion. While Nor­ton thinks that the knack of putting peo­ple at their ease is “in­nate”, he told the story of a psy­chol­ogy stu­dent who did a piece on YouTube about how “I sort of make peo­ple like me”.

In the YouTube video, the stu­dent “goes through all these clips, analysing my tech­nique. Ap­par­ently, I do a lot of arm-touch­ing and he said there were all these rules I was fol­low­ing. Like: ‘ He opens with a com­pli­ment, but then he’s self-dep­re­cat­ing and then he un­der­mines the com­pli­ment’. And it’s like: I do do all that! But it’s not con­scious.

So I had to stop watch­ing it af­ter a few min­utes. Be­cause if you be­came self-con­scious about it, that would be ter­ri­ble.”

How­ever he does it, Nor­ton’s or­ches­tra­tion of giddy con­ver­sa­tions with couch-fuls of Hol­ly­wood su­per­stars is sub­lime. Unlike his Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts, Nor­ton is able to punc­tu­ate the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try blather with rel­a­tively se­ri­ous ques­tions, and his quick­sil­ver con­ver­sa­tional style makes Jonathan Ross’s ITV show look blokeish, and old-fash­ioned. And Gra­ham al­ways gets the best guests.

This week act­ing le­gend Sir Michael Caine talks to Gra­ham about his lat­est mem­oir, Blow­ing the Bloody Doors Off, in which he re­calls the mak­ing of such iconic Bri­tish movies as The Ital­ian Job. He’ll be joined by Hol­ly­wood star Chris Pine, who plays Robert the Bruce in a forth­com­ing film by David Macken­zie, and Rami Malek, who is Fred­die Mer­cury in the new biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.

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