Jonathan Ross on alpha males, Sherlock, flirting and the future of TV….

"It's a great time to be alive and a fun time to be in show business"

What is the challenge for you these days?


Trying to do a good show keeps you going, trying to do a show that feels fresh for you and the audience. You want to have fun doing it and you want people to have fun watching it. You have got to try to make it work for them.

I like being part of the game, you get to see these great movies early and you get to see the people that make these movies or involved in these great TV shows.

I remember when I was off (after BBC), Sherlock appeared on TV and I remember sitting at home thinking “balls”, I was really annoyed because I would love to meet that guy and talk to him about the show and how they have made it so different. You get used to being a conduit for people to speak to other people about what they are doing and I enjoy that very much indeed. I have always been a champion for certain shows and certain performers.

Who are you favourite types of guests?

Gordon Ramsay is one of the guests I look forward to the most. I like him as a personality and I watch all his shows. Guys like that who are really alpha males at the top of their game like Simon Cowell, you can really tease in a fun way because it doesn’t seem like you are bullying them because they are so successful.

Will you get David Bowie on the show?

There is a chance, I think if he does anyone he will do us.

David is happy in New York and happy with his wife and daughter so at his age, you don’t feel the need to get up and travel.

I am not pressuring him or nagging him because that would be a way to end your chance.

But we have made it clear that if and when David wants to do something, would he please consider us.

Fingers crossed we will end up with David at some stage and if and when we do, as befits someone who has had that level of influence and is that important culturally, I think we should do a special devoted to him.

Do you have to change as you get older. If you had Miley Cyrus on you couldn’t flirt with her, could you?

If I had Miley on I wouldn’t be comfortable flirting with her, I wouldn’t want to flirt with her and she certainly wouldn’t want to be flirted with by someone who is 50 odd.

I had her on as a kid and I would have her on again. I think I can see why she is doing what she is doing. I wouldn’t judge her for that.

I don’t want to sit down and flirt with guests but sometimes it happens, bizarrely sometimes with male guests.

So it is not like it is off the cards completely but when you get older it inevitably changes a bit.

You can’t pretend to be something you are not, otherwise it is unseemly.

How do you think TV, film and scheduling is changing?

People aged 15-20, scheduling doesn’t have the same impact as my generation.

Everything is changing and it is an exciting time to be part of it.

The method and production and delivery are changing. All these new guys are coming in, Netflix are funding things, Amazon, Love FIlm, Sony, Microsoft, and the traditional TV model.

So a) it is exciting and b) it is more work and hopefully a lot of it will stay in the UK. Hopefully we will be able to make even more on the world stage so I would like to think we will see an explosion of new low budget movies being funded by the likes of Sony and Microsoft where you have a premiere online and they get seen by a lot more people than they would otherwise. BBC, ITV and Channel 4 only have a limited number of slots to put stuff out.

But at the same time there will always be quality programming like Broadchurch where people want to watch that the moment it comes out because you don’t want to be left out of the loop. You don’t want someone to give you a spoiler.

Sport will always be a live experience as will things like X Factor and Strictly, those big competition shows and I think you will see a return to that, big quiz shows and big live entertainment shows so people feel part of it. There is a joy watching something like Downton thinking ‘most people are watching this right now’. With a box set you do lose a little something.

I am always keen to be involved in new technologies. It’s a great time to be alive and a fun time to be in show business.

The Jonathan Ross show returns to ITV on Saturday night at 10:15pm