Paul O’Grady on the return of his teatime ITV chat show.
The Paul O’Grady Show launched almost a decade ago on ITV before switching to Channel 4 and finally returning to ITV as a weekly primetime series. Now its back to weekday daytime. The show became a big success for both broadcasters as celebrity chat, music and special features made it a popular tea time treat for over 700 episodes.
But what is Paul looking forward to the most?
I tell you what I’m looking forward to, some human company and a desk job! Because every job I’ve done this year apart from Holby City when I was in bed it’s all been outdoors. I did Gypsy Rose Lee The Queen of Burlesque, that was all over the States and then For The Love of Dogs at Battersea, of course. I’m always on my knees in Battersea so it’ll be nice to sit down and talk to some body. And the regular hours as well, that’ll be a novelty.
Will you have any old faces returning and will we meet any new ones?
Olga will be returning. She’ll be back and I’ll bring Eddie and see how he does. Although I think Eddie will kick off… he’s never been in front of the camera except from when he was in Battersea Dog’s Home having his bits off. Because he’s so feisty, I reckon if I brought him out and put him on the desk he’ll just stand there barking at them all. Olga’s still on, she’ll be back on Olga, God almighty try and stop her!
If you could pick any guest to come on the show, who would it be and why?
I tell you who I’d like to meet, Meryl Streep. She’s always good, she can go from tragedy to comedy. Death Becomes Her, I was watching that the other night and she’s brilliant at comedy and she’s got a great singing voice. She makes you bloody sick.
She’s a triple threat like you Paul…
She’s got more than the triple threat, she’s a nuclear bomb, she’s just brilliant!
You’ve done acting and documentaries and comedy are you looking forward to getting back to presenting the chat show?
It’ll be nice to do some studio stuff, that’ll be nice to be in the studio because you get everything done for you. You go in, there’s your suit, they cut your hair, make you look presentable, slap a bit of slap on, wheel you out there. You’re asked if you want a cup of tea.
But when you’re out on the road you don’t get any of that. I usually have animals peeing on me in my other shows and not just peeing on me, you name it! So it’ll be nice to sit there hopefully without anything peeing on me. There’ll be loads of animals on the show again, as usual.
We’ve seen you involved in various challenges in the show before any idea what they’ve got in store for you this time or do you have any challenges you’d like to face yourself?
This time, I said I’m sitting behind that desk and I’m not moving. I’m not bloody doing gravy wrestling or jelly throwing or dressing up as a crab or a hotdog. Listen, I’ll go in and I’ll be like that for one day and then the next thing you know I’ll be there doing whatever lunacy they come up with.
What are your favourite bits about The Paul O’Grady Show?
It’s not just about celebrity interviews, it’s about the insanity of it all really when you look back on it because it was a pretty mental show, we’d have Hi de Hi! days when I was there as a yellow coat on the tannoy with all the studio audience singing ‘goodnight campers’. It is good fun and it’s so right for teatime, you want that at teatime, and all the kids that used to be on the show are coming back of course, they’re all five or six years older now so we’ll see how they got on and see what they’ve been up to. There’ll be new recruits coming too, definitely.