Graham Norton: The Most Popular Host on Television
TWoP: I was worried that you'd have to sort of pry it out of them but you really don't. They're just like, "Oh no, I didn't like her dress."
Norton: And some of them are quite harsh. What's interesting is -- and this sort of occurred to me afterwards -- is I think women are so used to being judged, and judging themselves in a way that men don't. Men are judged by can they run fast, can they catch a ball, do they have money, do they have a nice car. Boom. End. Whereas women judge themselves and others all the time on their hair, their makeup, are they dressed too slutty, are they dressed too young, would you trust them with your kids, would they steal your man. Women get judged a LOT. And so I think for the audience and the contestants, it's a weirdly comfortable place for them to be. No one really freaks out. If you look at the seven women walking out, the first couple of shows I was so worried for them. It's extraordinary. They suck it up.
TWoP: I don't know if I could, my kind of worst fear is always like, "Oh my God, what if someone doesn't like me?"
Norton: Well, we do judge people all the time. It's not a good thing or a bad thing. It'd be moronic if you didn't. You know, you get into a cab, and by the way the cab driver goes, "Where to?" you make an opinion. Do you just go, "Do I like him, is he nice, is he grumpy, is he an idiot?"
TWoP: What has surprised you by some of the audience reactions?
Norton: I suppose what interests me is that you can't second guess the audience. On paper, I don't know much about the women who walk on the show before the show, I do find out most along with the audience, but I do know some basic facts. I'd look at the barebone facts and think, the audience is going to hate this woman. And then she'll walk out and lo and behold, she is likable. She has that magical quality -- just a nice smile, an open face, funny and honest, or whatever. You can't fault it, you can't manufacture it... just some people are likable, some people aren't.