June 19 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
TV presenter Graham Norton has hit back at Michael Parkinson’s criticism of the current generation of chat show hosts.
Veteran broadcaster Parkinson, 77, who retired from his chat show in 2007, has called it “sad” that traditional shows have been replaced by programmes that are fronted by comics.
But Wapping resident Norton, 49, who replaced Jonathan Ross in the Friday night slot on BBC1 with The Graham Norton Show, told the Radio Times: “What we’re in the business of doing isn’t really interviewing people.
“We’re in the business of entertaining an audience, so you’re not really going to get an insight from the questions I ask. You’ll get an insight from watching how that person on the couch interacts with the others. That is often really revealing.”
The former Channel 4 star told the magazine that TV and the audience had become more illiberal since he began working in the industry.
“There are things we can’t say and do on TV or radio that 10 years ago we absolutely could have said or shown,” he said.
“I think that’s the BBC reading the mood of the audience - the audience don’t particularly like cruel jokes, and I think they did.”
He added: “If you think back to some of the shows we watched growing up like I Claudius - that would never be shown now. I wonder would Queer As Folk happen now?... And the big drama hits now are so goody goody. Like you would never see a nipple on Downton Abbey.
“When we were growing up, you’d have thought that by now in EastEnders there could be nudity, but that’s not the case.”
Norton also told the magazine that “fear” prevented him going under-the-knife to get his eye-bags fixed, that he did not have celebrity friends, and that he had no regrets about his failed attempt to make it in the US.