What is your guilty TV pleasure?
I don’t know if I feel guilty about it but I’ve got lots of weird stuff: obscure horror movies and so many documentaries. I started writing a book last year, which I’ve now abandoned, but it was about the first female pilots during the Second World War. I got really interested in it and it was quite hard to find books. Then one day I was flicking though the guide and there was a documentary on that very subject. The variety of choice that we have now is amazing.
What causes fights over the remote in the Ross household?
We have minor disagreements, but it’s mainly about how we watch rather than what. So we have all these series ready to go on catchup. Me? I like to watch an episode, take a break, maybe watch another one the next day. Jane [Goldman, his wife] and the kids think you should watch it all immediately. They’ll go through a box set in a day. They go on a mad binge. I go, guys, pace yourselves. They never listen.
What series had you hooked most recently?
Dexter. The one about the serial killer who only kills bad guys. I think we watched three series in a week. We were on holiday together and we didn’t go out – we were watching six or seven episodes a day.
What would you like to delete from your wife’s or your daughters’ watchlist?
Anything involving top models. It’s got worse since they went global. My eldest, Betty, lives down in Brighton. She’ll come back home, head away again and I’ll find that the weirdest stuff has been series linked. Britain’s Next Top Model I understand, but America, Australia, Timbuktu… how many models do they need?
Do you ever watch your own performances on the chat show?
I do record them. I don’t tend to watch them that much, to be honest with you. I’ve never been someone who forces the family to watch my show, unless it’s a guest they want to see. So when Taylor Swift came on, my daughter Honey wanted to come and watch but she had a terrible cold. I didn’t really want to be responsible for halting Taylor Swift’s global tour by giving her a bug, so we all watched it back later.
It seems there’s a little less of you on TV at the moment. How come?
Well, the talk show’s on at the moment and there’s plenty in the pipeline. I’m working on a pilot for a new comedy panel show for ITV with David Walliams, and I’m doing a new film show that is going to be on ITV probably next April.
A new film show… will it be like the film show you used to present on the BBC, by any chance?
It’s much bigger. The BBC film show is fine, it’s a lovely show but it’s always been what it is – reviews, talking about movies. We’re doing stuff that is a bit bigger; we’re opening it up a bit more. We’ll do these stunts. In the pilot we had Ross Noble with a dialogue coach trying to do a scene from Jaws.
So, talk show – check; film show – check. That surely only leaves a return to radio…
I’ve just turned down this huge radio gig as well. I’m very lucky that I’m in the position that I can turn down a big job. A lot of people can’t. I’m enjoying writing my comic books – why walk into another big commitment like a daily radio show? We are lucky in that Jane’s career [as a screenwriter] is going so well that if I needed to, I could probably retire.
1. The Killing or Midsomer Murders?
2. Jamie Oliver or Nigel Slater?
3. Radio 4 or Radio 2?
4. Towie or Made in Chelsea?
5. Corrie or EastEnders?
6. The X Factor or Strictly?
The X Factor.