If you’re a regular viewer of The Graham Norton Show then you might have noticed that as well as A-listers plonking themselves down next to him on his sofa, there is often a British comedian sat at the other end.
Now the chat show king has revealed why - and there’s a very good reason for it.
Speaking in an interview in the US, where he is promoting his latest novel, A Keeper, Graham says the comics are booked for his show to bring the laughs when the big name stars are basically fun sponges.
Graham explains: “There’s the guest sitting on the couch thinking, ‘But I love this show. Tonight just, I don’t know, it’s just not that good tonight,’ and you’re like, ‘Because you’re on it. Because you’re here. You’re ruining it’.
“It happens quite often where people are like, ‘Normally this show is so fun,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, but you’re here. You carry this with you. You kill every room you enter.’”
Which is where the comedians come in...
Graham adds: “That is the joy, because if I’m getting nothing, if that is a bloodless stone then you turn to someone else, or I might be lucky to have a comic at the end.
“They can do 20 minutes, so off they go. And actually sometimes, it’s as illuminating to see a really kind of stern actor who is not really good at telling their stories to see what makes them laugh, to see the comic is really tickling them.
“That’s, in a way, more revealing than the answer to any question I could ask them.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.