Much of Louis Theroux's prolific output focuses on American subjects, from his first forays into TV with Weird Weekends to the likes of one-off specials such as America's Most Dangerous Pets and Miami Mega Jail.


The documentarian spoke to Kelly-Anne Taylor for this week's Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast about why he favours filming across the pond.

"I think there's two things," he said. "One is simply that in America, well, there's being in a vast country, it's socially chaotic, you know, we're all fascinated by America. That's what, nearly 300 million people there. And it's a sort of petri dish of competing ideas and ways of life and everything is going on there."

Louis Theroux with Joe Exotic in American's Most Dangerous Pets
Louis Theroux with Joe Exotic in American's Most Dangerous Pets. BBC

He added: "There's also the fact of the American temperament, it being sort of unselfconscious and feeling, it is somewhat performative in a weird way. Like people enjoy it to make crass generalisation, the experience of being on TV."

He also revealed that part of it is due to his level of fame.

"The other part of it is, of course, that I have a lower profile," Theroux explained. "I have virtually no profile in the US, so I arrive as someone who's not necessarily known, although that has changed and I'm easily Googleable, yeah, but at least on the streets or at events, I don't attract attention.

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"An issue here, especially if I'm out on location filming in a public place at a supermarket, at a demonstration, I'm liable to be approached for selfies, which I normally would be happy to to do, but it's just weird to be doing it while I'm trying to film."

The journalist is fronting a new series in which he will interview some of the "most iconic names in the world of entertainment". There will be six instalments in total.

Louis Theroux Interviews aired its first episode on 25th October, with episodes airing weekly on BBC Two at 9:15pm. Find out what else to watch with our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Documentaries hub.


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