Tight-lipped celebrities are ruining talk shows, says Alan Carr
Alan Carr, the presenter of 'Alan Carr: Chatty Man', says he is often banned from asking guests on his talk show any interesting questions.Sir Michael Parkinson may have said that the problem with talk shows nowadays is the celebrity hosts who reckon “it’s a doddle”, but Alan Carr claims that any guilt really lies with the guests who appear on them.
“You can’t talk about anything now,” the presenter of Alan Carr: Chatty Man tells Mandrake at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards at the Royal Festival Hall.
He said he was often told: “Don’t talk about their bad plastic surgery, don’t mention their drug abuse, don’t mention their alcoholism.”
Carr says hosts are too scared to ask the stars about forbidden topics because if they do the publicists who impose such bans will stop other clients from appearing on the show. “They are so well hooked up that it’s like if you don’t adhere to these rules, you will never work again,” he adds.
The 36-year-old presenter, who won best entertainment performance at the ceremony, tells me he was recently told he could not look directly at one celebrity’s hair while interviewing them.
“I was told for a certain guest, 'don’t look at their hair’ and, of course, I didn’t even know it was fake before they drew attention to it.”
Carr concedes that it is the behind-the-scenes staff who are often caused the most grief by high-maintenance guests.
“The thing is they are nice to me,” he says. “It’s the runners and researchers that get soup thrown over them if it is not room temperature, but then they come on and are perfectly pleasant to me.”
Carr’s claims come after Jonathan Ross said his ITV show has lower ratings than The Graham Norton Show because of Norton’s interview technique.
“I think Graham gets first bite of film guests,” he said. “Some stars prefer his show over mine because they’re less protected on my programme.
“If they go on Graham’s, three guests all sit together on the sofa. He recently had Jude Law on his show, who could hide behind fellow guest Dame Judi Dench. On my programme they can’t do that.”