One of the most popular chat shows on British television is The Graham Norton Show. It has been airing on Friday evenings since 2007. The show is loved not only by the general public around the world, but also by celebrities. With Norton, they share the most crazy and ridiculous stories and actually have fun. Matt Damon once said, “This is the best time I’ve ever had on a talk show.”
There are, of course, a lot of other late-night shows, particularly in America. But there are several things that make The Graham Norton Show stand out. Unlike American TV networks, the BBC doesn’t censor swearing. What is more, guests on the show are served drinks of their choice (including alcohol). They feel relaxed and have an hour-long conversation without pressure. This makes for a very different atmosphere to other shows, where celebrities are interviewed one by one, must quickly promote their new work, and do not chat with each other.
American late-night shows also air five days a week. When Graham Norton was asked if he would like to be a talk show host in America, he said: “I love going to America, but working there, particularly a job like that, that's a job. I don't do a job. I have a lovely time, I do a once-a-week show.”
In 2020, due to the pandemic, celebrities had to be on the show via Zoom. Interestingly, even that didn’t ruin the feel of the programme, because at the core of it is Graham Norton. He is the secret ingredient that makes the show truly work. Norton drinks wine on air, is always interested in his guests, has a great sense of humour, and treats everyone equally — whether he has a huge Hollywood star or a niche indie artist on his show. He finds the common things that unite all of his guests and makes everyone feel welcomed.