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Debatable host Patrick Kielty reveals the dangers of boxset binges and daytime TV

"It’s potential divorce stuff"

Published: Monday, 29th August 2016 at 4:30 pm

You’re sitting in a beautiful LA house, surrounded by baby paraphernalia, with a glass of wine in your hand. Am I close?


You’re definitely close with the wine. We were in a restaurant last week and this woman had a large glass of red wine and in LA that’s kind of frowned on. You’re meant to drink kale juice. She said, “I know, I’m sorry, I’ve got three sons.” I know the connection between the wine and the kids.

And does TV help as well?

Yeah, but we keep the TV in the corner, behind a set of doors. There’s a trend now where people don’t hang pictures above fireplaces any more. They seem to think they can just put a flatscreen TV up there and that actually looks OK.

You’re ashamed of your TV?

You can’t make a living in TV and say that TV is something to be ashamed of. I just think the notion of TV dominating a room is a bit weird. I can talk you through every daytime programme that I’ve watched when I could have been writing: Lorraine, Bargain Hunt, Homes Under the Hammer. I lose complete days going, “Well, clearly I can’t start writing now: Dion Dublin’s just turned up at a three bedroom in Darlington.”

London or LA. Where do you hang your hat?

Both – Cat [Deeley]’s work is in LA, mine is in the UK. We’re in LA right now because So You Think You Can Danceis on air over the summer, but in May and June we were in London filming Debatable.

Your son Milo is eight-months- old. Are you a hands-on dad?

Yeah, there’s a lot of writing from home so it’s nice to do that and then have a bit of a play.

Do you make him laugh?

I do, but you buy a toy and he’s looking at you thinking, “I have no interest in this.” Then you go on the lawn barefoot and dance together and for some reason that’s absolutely hilarious. All these years, I’ve been writing jokes, and I should have just brought some grass into the theatre.

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What do you and Cat watch on TV when the baby’s in bed?

We finally watched Breaking Badrecently, and just finished The People v OJ Simpson. But the thing about watching box sets with your partner is that it’s potential divorce stuff if you watch the next episode without her. You can never let slip, “I’ve seen this one.” Although, she’s just as bad.

Is there any British TV you miss?

As yet – and I’m really hoping this will change – there is no Homes Under the Hammerhere. And now that Oprah’s retired, I think Lorraine Kelly needs to get out here. Watching Lorraineis like a hug.

What music do you listen to?

I bought a vintage 1967 Jaguar, which was owned by Saul Chaplin, the Sound of Musiccomposer, and it still has the old eight-track music system. My dad used to be a promoter for Roy Orbison and Engelbert Humperdinck, so I dug out his old eight-track tapes, and that’s what I’m listening to. You can tell you’re getting to a certain age, when you’re starting doing nostalgic things.

I wasn’t going to mention the words “midlife crisis”...

Look, I’m 45, so if this is a midlife crisis, I’ll take it, because it means I’m going to live until I’m 90.


Patrick Kielty hosts Debatable, which is on Monday to Friday at 6pm on BBC2


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