It’s Classic Clip Friday: Clive Anderson v. The Bee Gees


Here we have car-crash TV at its finest.

Nowadays, lawyer turned comedian and Clive Anderson is best known for popping up as guest or host on the endless merry-go-round of TV and radio panel shows.

But back in the late 80s, hot off his success as host of improvisational game show Whose Line Is It Anyway, he presented a very popular chat show – Clive Anderson Talks Back – which ran for 10 seasons on Channel 4.

He switched channels to BBC1 in 1996 and the name of the programme changed to Clive Anderson All Talk. However, the format of the show remained exactly the same – Anderson would poke good-natured fun at his guests, gently (though occasionally scathingly) mocking them with a mixture of carefully-scripted put-downs and quick-thinking, off-the-cuff responses to their answers and anecdotes.

In other words, unlike most chat shows, the guests were just there to make the host look good and make sure he got all the laughs.

Clearly, nobody told the Bee Gees this when they appeared on the show in 1997. No doubt they expected the usual bland, fawning adoration heaped on them by more traditional, mainstream chat-show hosts.

The video clip starts quite early on in the interview, shortly before one of Clive’s quips about the group’s former name, Les Tosseurs, sends it spiralling out of control. One Bee Gee goes in a huff, one tries to gamely battle on in good humour and one is unsure which of the other two’s leads to follow.

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