ENTERTAINMENT
25/04/2021 10:49 BST

Graham Norton Admits He Was Less Than Convinced By 'Terrible' Lockdown Version Of His Show

"It was a way of keeping people employed," he said.

Graham Norton has reflected on the difficult first series of his BBC talk show made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

When the coronavirus crisis first hit last year, The Graham Norton Show was among the shows that was affected, with the weekly talk show undergoing a few drastic changes to stay on the air.

Among the biggest changes was the fact Graham filmed the show from home, in a specially-designed room that was made to look like his regular set, with guests appearing one at a time via video-link.

However, in a new interview with The Guardian, the host has admitted he doesn’t quite think this first series worked.

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Graham Norton interviewing Josh O'Connor last year

Asked whether he was happy with how the lockdown version of his show went down, Graham said: “Initially, we did a terrible back-bedroom series that nobody liked, but it was a way of keeping people employed.

“Since autumn, we’ve been back in the studio in various socially distanced ways.”

“It’s funny the glimpses that guests give us of their house over Zoom,” he continued.

“Some celebrities looked like they were being held hostage in a bunker. Others were happy for us to see their grand pianos and rolling lawns.”

Graham also named Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt as two of his dream guests, pointing out that neither of them has appeared on his show yet, adding: “The young royals would be interesting.”

BBC
Graham filmed his talk show from home earlier in the pandemic

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

Guests based in the US have also continued to make appearances via video-link, speaking to Graham and the rest of the guests while they’re in the studio.

Last year, Graham revealed he thinks this will continue even after the pandemic is over, commenting: “Film stars may never fly around the world again promoting films because we’ve discovered you can sort of do it without leaving their house, so who wants to leave their house?”

“Well, maybe a lot of people after lockdown,” he then joked.