Graham Norton Purely a Publicity Stopping Off Point
When Graham Norton started his first Chat Show on Channel 4 in the Early 2000s, it was an irreverent mix of audience participation and an eccentric mix of guests from soap to Hollywood. Some were just part of something current, while the rest had that nostalgic effect that we required post-millennium. Graham Norton was always going to have to tone it down for BBC One but after 10 years on the BBC his show has become nothing more that a celeb fest promoting the latest cinematic releases. Indeed many of the guest now look tired.
So far Graham's best guest has been a nervous Kevin Costner. Costner isn't a big fan of the movie marketing machine and admitted to Graham that he wasn't sure why he was on the show. However Costner did show Graham as strong chat show host. If Graham has a guest who won't talk Graham can continue to present in his usual manner and can allow other guests take centre stage. Costner showed that Graham (though he nearly forgot) can be in the background doing what a good chat show host can do and that is to prod a taciturn guest into a storyteller, and Coster's recount of how Dance With Wolves got to be produced was funny and insightful. Perhaps Costner had advised the producers he wouldn't fit with the rest of the show and perhaps it would be better for him to come in at the end. Certainly this is something that Graham should consider for other guests.
The Superman V Batman episode was stilted and was really the worst of what The Graham Norton Show has become. It was clear that Ben Affleck was not interest in talking with Graham, while both Amy Adams and Henry Cavill were desperate to out do their lackluster performance so soon after previous engagement with Graham. Affleck was sensible enough not to overtly show his disinterest. He did try to tell a forgettable story but ultimately he knew it had fallen on deaf ears.
Costner also did something else for the show, and that was do help it disregard the Red Chair. Some red chair stories are legitimately funny and the rest are throw away, and its clear the Red Chair has had its day in the sunny and its time to stop milking it.
The show still has legs but it has to find its feet again. The Hollywood promotional show that it has become needs a re-think before its too late. While it is understandable that chat shows are used to promote film and music it is also understandable that viewers may want a break from the commercial break that Graham has become.