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Graham Norton Revealed the Worst Actor He's Ever Had on His Talk Show

The hilarious host has complaints about a few guests of The Graham Norton Show.

British talk show host Graham Norton has interviewed a lot of celebrities. BBC's The Graham Norton show has been on since 2007, featuring group chats with big names, complete with the host's signature, slightly risqué humor. But, though most stars seemed to be relaxed and ready to have fun on the show, with more than 500 episodes and counting, it's inevitable that not every guest is an exciting interview. Read on to learn which acclaimed actor Norton named as his "worst" guest and what the celebrity did to earn the dubious honor.

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Norton once named Robert De Niro as his toughest interview subject.

In a 2018 appearance at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Norton revealed that Robert De Niro was perhaps the worst guest he's ever had on his interview couch. But, it's not because the Killers of the Flower Moon star did anything offensive or out of line. He just didn't make for very good TV.

"He's not a storyteller, or very verbal," Norton said of De Niro, according to Gloucestershire Live. "He's a benign presence."

The host went on to explained that during one appearance on his show, De Niro began telling a story that "went on and on."

"We were all leaning in, willing it to be amazing," Norton said. "Then he finally went, 'Why am I telling this?' Nobody had an answer. We cut it."

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He was still invited back, however.

De Niro had appeared on The Graham Norton Show as a guest three times before the 2018 Cheltenham Literature Festival where Norton spilled the tea. He appeared twice during Season 13, first in 2013 (with fellow guests Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Saunders, and Cher) and then in January of the next year (along with Sylvester Stallone, Carey Mulligan, Jonah Hill, and Jake Bugg). De Niro was a guest again in Season 18 when he and Anne Hathaway were on to promote their 2015 movie The Intern. (Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hiddleston, and The Shires were the other guests.)

If the Taxi Driver star heard about Norton's comments, he apparently wasn't offended by them. (And Norton didn't blacklist him just for telling a rambling story.) In 2019, De Niro sat on the Graham Norton Show couch for a fourth time to promote The Irishman.

He also had some complaints about the Ocean's 8 cast.

During that same appearance at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Norton named the 2018 show featuring much of the cast of Ocean's 8 as his talk show's worst episode. Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter shared the stage, which the host explained led to pure chaos.

"I felt like the guy driving the bus on a hen party," Norton said, as reported by Gloucestershire Live.

"For 45 minutes people were talking over each other and laughing," he continued. "They were having a great time but the audience was nonplussed."

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Norton named a non-actor as his absolute worst guest of all time.

Harvey Weinstein in court in 2022
Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images

De Niro and the Ocean's 8 cast might have made for less than optimal TV, but Norton didn't single them out for any truly bad behavior. Another guest was a totally different story.

In 2022, the host gave a new answer for his worst talk show guest during a live event in Dublin.

"I often talk around who my least favorite guest was, but now, someone reminded me, I have a really good answer to this now," Norton said, according to the Irish website Joe. "It's Harvey Weinstein. He's in jail, so he gets the prize for the worst guest ever."

He then recalled how Weinstein—the former powerful Hollywood producer now in prison following his convictions on several charges, including rape—forced his way onto The Graham Norton Show in 2015.

"He emailed me something very nice, a complimentary thing," Norton explained. "And then he decided he wanted to be on the show, because he was going to promote something. And it was a show that was fully booked, so I replied saying 'Oh, thank you so much, but the show is fully booked.'"

However, the ex Miramax head wouldn't take no for an answer —a persistence that Norton said he looks back at differently since Weinstein's litany of crimes have been exposed.

"At the time, I thought that sort of attitude, that kind of 'Oh no, I'm going on'—that is what makes you a very good producer," he said. "But of course, now that we know what we know, that is what makes him a predator. It was that kind of weird, tunnel-vision thing. And it was sort of chilling in retrospect because I was just laughing at those emails. But you realize 'Oh my God, that is an insight into how that man is.'"

James Grebey
James has been an entertainment journalist for more than a decade, writing and editing for outlets like Vulture, Inverse, Polygon, TIME, The Daily Beast, SPIN Magazine, Fatherly, and more. Read more
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