Actor, comedian and television personality Graham Norton has been named the nation’s favourite chat show host.
The camp funnyman out-talked chat show royalty Michael Parkinson and Jonathan Ross to the title, in a poll of UK adults. Chatty Man Alan Carr, stalwart Terry Wogan and daytime duo Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby also appeared in the top ten.
The study also revealed the most memorable chat show moments of all time – although most hosts would prefer to forget them. Number one was the moment Rod Hull’s Emu attacked Michael Parkinson during a 1976 appearance, leaving Parky narked.
Runner-up was the cringe-worthy moment in 1996 when the Bee Gees took exception to Clive Anderson’s line of questioning and all three walked out. Other memorable moments included pop diva Grace Jones slapping Russell Harty for turning his back on her and Tom Cruise’s barmy outburst on Oprah when he jumped up and down on the sofa while proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes.
“Chat shows have been an important part of TV culture for decades and remain popular despite entertainment trends. Graham Norton’s off-the-cuff humour, likeable personality and quality guests have seen him out-do some of the best in the business to reach the top of our poll.” – A spokesman for research experts OnePoll
The study revealed that 54 per cent of viewers watch chat shows for the entertaining host, while 44 per cent tune in for big-name guests. Unpredictability is another main draw of the chat show format, with 46 per cent preferring a host that goes off-script, while one in five enjoys watching guests being asked probing or controversial questions.
Despite the number of modern chat show hosts to appear in the countdown, one in three UK adults believes the quality of chat shows has declined in recent years. Over a third think that more A-list guests would improve the format, while a quarter want more serious discussion about current events and issues.
THE TOP TWENTY CHAT SHOW HOSTS OF ALL TIME
1. Graham Norton
2. Michael Parkinson
3. Jonathan Ross
4. Alan Carr
5. Terry Wogan
6. James Corden
7. Paul O’Grady
8. Dave Allen
9. Phillip Schofield
10. Holly Willoughby
11. David Frost
12. Frank Skinner
13. Piers Morgan
14. Des O’Connor
15. Jeremy Kyle
16. Ricky Gervais
17. Ellen DeGeneres
18. Michael McIntyre
19. Dame Edna
20. Oprah Winfrey
THE TOP 10 CHAT SHOW MOMENTS OF ALL TIME
1. Rod Hull and Emu attacking Michael Parkinson
2. Bee Gee’s ‘tosser’ storm off on Clive Anderson Talks Back
3. Grace Jones slapping Russell Harty
4. Tom Cruise ‘I love Katie’ sofa outburst on Oprah
5. George Best drunk and slurring on Wogan
6. David Icke ‘I am the son of God’ rant on Wogan
7. Jonathan Ross asking Daivd Cameron about Margaret Thatcher sexual fantasies on The Jonathan Ross Show
8. A sweary appearance from the Sex Pistols on The Today Show
9. Drew Barrymore flashing on David Letterman
10. Oprah gives away cars to the studio audience on Oprah
2,000 UK adults were polled for the, er, poll.
Pictured Top: Graham Norton for the BBC, Pictured Middle: Michael Parkinson interviews Cliff Richard on Parkinson One to One for ITV and Pictured Bottom: Terry Wogan continues to entertain on Children In Need.