Graham Norton Explains Why His Celebrity Putdowns Are Now A Thing Of The Past

The chat show host used to be famed for his acerbic takedowns of celebrities.

Graham Norton has explained he’s stopped “roasting” celebrities because he doesn’t think viewers enjoy “that sort of comedy” anymore.

The chat show host explained his decision to stop poking fun at people in the limelight on Radio 4′s Home Stretch.

He said: “It is that thing where you can do jokes about anyone until you meet them and then, they are quite nice, fun, or a nice person.

“And then you go back and the writers are going, ‘No, you met, now we cannot do jokes about them anymore’.”

Graham Norton is best known for hosting his BBC chat show
Graham Norton is best known for hosting his BBC chat show

He continued: “And I think that sort of comedy at the moment is not popular. That idea of roast jokes.

“It is not now. And I don’t think an audience has an appetite for those
jokes anymore.”

Graham previously claimed that his own on-screen persona is a “turbo-charged” version of his real self, after taking some advice from Dolly Parton.

He explained: “That’s an amped-up version of me, because I feel I ought to make an effort on telly. If I was like that all the time, it would be quite annoying.

“It’s very hard to sustain if it’s nothing like you. Years ago I remember Dolly Parton telling me that. She said, ‘Pick a persona that’s pretty close to you, otherwise life becomes difficult’. So mine is basically me, but turbo-charged.”

Graham Norton
Graham Norton
Ian Gavan via Getty Images

The latest series of The Graham Norton Show saw guests return to appearing in the studio, albeit in socially-distanced individual armchairs, rather than the sofa set-up usually seen on the talk show.

Graham recently admitted he was less than convinced by the “terrible” version of the show he hosted from home during the height of the first national lockdown.