Graham Norton on falling in love with Chris Pratt, being a Midsomer Murders fan and wanting Jennifer Lawrence on his sofa
The presenter doesn't believe in guilty pleasures, cries over Long Lost Family and gets ready while watching Strictly...
Graham, what would be your perfect night of TV viewing?
A feature-length episode of Vera or Midsomer Murders or Sherlock. I love a murder mystery. Midsomer is ridiculous, but it’s happy television and it washes over you. Around that I’d have a bit of comedy, like Episodes or Catastrophe or Raised by Wolves, and then a bit of Family Guy to finish off. I find reality TV very resistible. I’ll watch trashy populist fiction, but have no interest in real people, it appears.
So no Strictly or X Factor?
I watch Strictly – not slavishly, but it’s on at a good time when you’re getting ready to go out. I haven’t watched X Factor the past few years because it just seems so long now – it’s endless. Also, the people aren’t very good, so to all the judges’ comments of, “I’d buy your album tomorrow” you think, “You’re never having an album. You wouldn’t throw 50p at them if they were busking in the Tube.” I think it’s lost its credibility.
Guilty TV pleasure?
Guilty pleasures do not exist. Unless you’re watching snuff porn, then maybe feel guilty, but really, if it’s pleasurable, why feel guilt? If there’s a fabulous documentary on BBC4 about the invention of the clay pipe, I’m always going to choose something bubble-gummy and stupid on the other side. And now that there’s iPlayer you need never feel guilty. You were saying, “I’ve said no to Wolf Hall and yes to Midsomer Murders,” although actually, I did enjoy Midsomer more knowing that I wasn’t watching Wolf Hall. I loved those books, but the TV show did nothing for me.
Who controls the remote?
Me. I love on my own.
Do you watch your own show?
If I’m in I’ll watch it when it’s on, and I’ll definitely watch it along the line. If I haven’t bothered to watch it, why would anybody else?
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Top moment from the last series?
Some people I just fell in love with – Chris Pratt from Jurassic World was fantastic and the other real revelation was [US comedian] Amy Schumer. She’s bright and really held her own. And Emilia Clark – I don’t even watch Game of Thrones, but she’s adorable, really funny and self-deprecating.
Anyone left to get on your sofa?
We’ve had Clooney now, but there’s Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and I don’t think Jennifer Lawrence has been on, has she? I’d also like a politician, but only when they’re out of office... Bill Clinton would be the one – he’s funny, he’s got stories, he’s charismatic, and also now he’s in that unique position of having been president and probably going to be the First Man, or FMOTUS [First Man of the United States].
Jeremy Kyle doing that thing in the hospital [Jeremy Kyle’s Emergency Room on ITV].
Last time you cried watching TV?
Long Lost Family. You should feel embarrassed. You should kind of go, “This is wrong; we shouldn’t be watching this,” but they do it so well and so sensitively that it never seems too much or too intrusive. You really feel like TV has done something good here.
What do you wake up to?
A combination of silence and Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1. Certainly, I’m not supposed to be listening. He’s supposed to have attracted the kids, but he can’t shake this 52-year-old listener. I like the music he plays and besides, where would I go? I don’t want Radio 4’s Today, and I don’t want Chris Evans, so Nick it is. What faint praise that is!