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  1. #1

    R..I.P. Des O'Connor.

    Very sad to hear the news of the passing of legendary UK Entertainer Des O'Connor. He was a big fan of Diana and she appeared on his chat show to perform and chat several times back in the 90's. He was a lovely genuine guy and Diana always asked us to book her onto the show when she had a single to promote. We often went out to dinner following the taping of the show and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Diana was always totally relaxed in his company having first met him at the Royal Variety Show back in 68.
    I will always have happy memories of these times, and i am sure Diana will be saddened by this news when she receives the e-mail.
    May he r.i.p.

  2. #2
    Interesting to read about his wives and children; he was 75 when his son was born?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Interesting to read about his wives and children; he was 75 when his son was born?
    I thought he was around 80? I recall it being big news at the time.

  4. #4
    R.I.P Des. We were talking about him only a few days ago. A mate thought he had died years ago but I mentioned he was still alive. Then I heard he passed away this morning. Had no internet for days .

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Very sad to hear the news of the passing of legendary UK Entertainer Des O'Connor. He was a big fan of Diana and she appeared on his chat show to perform and chat several times back in the 90's. He was a lovely genuine guy and Diana always asked us to book her onto the show when she had a single to promote. We often went out to dinner following the taping of the show and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Diana was always totally relaxed in his company having first met him at the Royal Variety Show back in 68.
    I will always have happy memories of these times, and i am sure Diana will be saddened by this news when she receives the e-mail.
    May he r.i.p.
    Diana always appeared very relaxed in his company. I guess she knew he was not the kind of interviewer to get to deep and dirty. Light and bright was always Des OíConnerís style.
    I wonder if they were ever tempted to record a duet together?. Kind of pleased they didnít really.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Diana always appeared very relaxed in his company. I guess she knew he was not the kind of interviewer to get to deep and dirty. Light and bright was always Des O’Conner’s style.
    I wonder if they were ever tempted to record a duet together?. Kind of pleased they didn’t really.
    I don't think a duet was ever on the cards. They got along famously, but there was never any contact between her numerous appearances on his show, but she was always on fine form during rehearsals and recording of the shows. She also thought very highly of Terry Wogan. Less so Michael Parkinson, Michael Aspel, Graham Norton and Clive Anderson, but those juicy stories can be saved for another time.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I don't think a duet was ever on the cards. They got along famously, but there was never any contact between her numerous appearances on his show, but she was always on fine form during rehearsals and recording of the shows. She also thought very highly of Terry Wogan. Less so Michael Parkinson, Michael Aspel, Graham Norton and Clive Anderson, but those juicy stories can be saved for another time.
    I can kind of guess why lol. Unlike with the Bee Gees, Clive Anderson at least had the sense to back off when he saw his guest becoming less then amused.
    I thought Michael Aspels line of questioning was pretty harsh at times.. He seemed to have an axe to grind. Norton was just wacky.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I can kind of guess why lol. Unlike with the Bee Gees, Clive Anderson at least had the sense to back off when he saw his guest becoming less then amused.
    I thought Michael Aspels line of questioning was pretty harsh at times.. He seemed to have an axe to grind. Norton was just wacky.
    Clive Anderson was the one who was the most difficult. He is a very intelligent man with a razor sharp tongue. I just knew he and Diana would clash, but when she was told the show would go out on a prime time Sunday slot she insisted upon doing it. She was there to promote the Voice of Love compilation and we also had appearances on Des O'Connor and Top of the Pops lined up in the same week.
    Anderson obviously did his research, and if i didn't know better i would have sworn Mary Wilson hand picked that studio audience! There were some hostile individuals in that audience. Anderson tried to goad Diana into criticising Michael Jackson, but she was having none of it, and she turned on Anderson for poking fun at Michael. She threatened to walk off set which is of course exactly what The Bee Gees did in their infamous appearance on the show. Things eventually calmed down until Anderson asked Diana if she would take questions from the studio audience. It all threatened to explode into open warfare. The "selected" members of the audience asked awkward questions about Mary and Flo. I was cringing backstage as it went from bad to worse. The production team did a wonderful job in editing out some of the more toxic moments, but if you saw the actual broadcast you would have picked up on the strained atmosphere.
    When filming wrapped Anderson asked Diana to join him for an after show drink, but Diana was in no mood to do that and stormed backstage and ordered us all to vacate the studio with immediate effect. I was looking forward to going home to spend time with my family, but was told i would have to spend the night in the Hotel just in case things kicked off again. I was totally pissed off and in no mood to calm down a needy Diva, but of course i had no say in the matter.
    I realise all this is probably of little interest to our American members, and for that i apologise. There is much more i could say, but i will leave it at that for the moment.

  9. #9
    All very interesting information Bluebrock.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Clive Anderson was the one who was the most difficult. He is a very intelligent man with a razor sharp tongue. I just knew he and Diana would clash, but when she was told the show would go out on a prime time Sunday slot she insisted upon doing it. She was there to promote the Voice of Love compilation and we also had appearances on Des O'Connor and Top of the Pops lined up in the same week.
    Anderson obviously did his research, and if i didn't know better i would have sworn Mary Wilson hand picked that studio audience! There were some hostile individuals in that audience. Anderson tried to goad Diana into criticising Michael Jackson, but she was having none of it, and she turned on Anderson for poking fun at Michael. She threatened to walk off set which is of course exactly what The Bee Gees did in their infamous appearance on the show. Things eventually calmed down until Anderson asked Diana if she would take questions from the studio audience. It all threatened to explode into open warfare. The "selected" members of the audience asked awkward questions about Mary and Flo. I was cringing backstage as it went from bad to worse. The production team did a wonderful job in editing out some of the more toxic moments, but if you saw the actual broadcast you would have picked up on the strained atmosphere.
    When filming wrapped Anderson asked Diana to join him for an after show drink, but Diana was in no mood to do that and stormed backstage and ordered us all to vacate the studio with immediate effect. I was looking forward to going home to spend time with my family, but was told i would have to spend the night in the Hotel just in case things kicked off again. I was totally pissed off and in no mood to calm down a needy Diva, but of course i had no say in the matter.
    I realise all this is probably of little interest to our American members, and for that i apologise. There is much more i could say, but i will leave it at that for the moment.
    Thanks for sharing Mr B. I find all of this fascinating as it gives real insight into the DR persona. Anderson can come across as very smug at times. She should have handed out a Mahogany style slap backstage lol.
    I thought Diana did remarkably well during the Aspel interview when he remarked that Marvin Gaye had said she must be made of steel. The quote was taken out of context and i thought she handled it with style and sensitivity.
    I remember being disappointed during the Barbara Walters interview of 89 when BW asked her what she thought was the biggest misconception about her. A perfectly reasonable question. Diana responded by raising her voice and getting very defensive. This would have been a perfect opportunity for her to put right a few wrongs. Instead she served up what Walters had probably been hoping for all along.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Thanks for sharing Mr B. I find all of this fascinating as it gives real insight into the DR persona. Anderson can come across as very smug at times. She should have handed out a Mahogany style slap backstage lol.
    I thought Diana did remarkably well during the Aspel interview when he remarked that Marvin Gaye had said she must be made of steel. The quote was taken out of context and i thought she handled it with style and sensitivity.
    I remember being disappointed during the Barbara Walters interview of 89 when BW asked her what she thought was the biggest misconception about her. A perfectly reasonable question. Diana responded by raising her voice and getting very defensive. This would have been a perfect opportunity for her to put right a few wrongs. Instead she served up what Walters had probably been hoping for all along.
    Michael Aspel is another one whom Diana did not care much for. He had interviewed her on his radio show a few years earlier - not sure if it was Capital Radio or Radio 2 but it all went swimmingly well and i did not anticipate any problems with her being a guest on his tv chat show. They had an uneventful meeting backstage prior to the recording in which Aspel asked her if there was any subject she did not want to discuss. Diana said she was fine with any subject and it was all very calm and relaxed. However Shirley Maclaine decided she would have a few drinks backstage before her slot, and a few drinks turned into a lot of drinks. She was very loud and boisterous by the time she was introduced to the audience. It took well over one hour for her chat to be recorded along with the late British comedian Mel Smith's slot. Diana was getting agitated backstage as she impatiently waited for her turn. She had been at the studio since early morning rehearsing her performance of Force Behind The Power, and was wanting to get back to her children one of whom had been unwell that day. Diana gave a reasonable performance of FBTP and then joined Shirley and Mel to be interviewed. Both Shirley and Mel were under the influence and kept interupting Diana. The recording took way longer than anticipated and Diana spoke sharply to Shirley who just laughed hysterically. It was awful. Aspel asked Diana why she was regarded as being difficult which i recall was cut from the broadcast, but the Marvin question was left in. Once the recording was completed Diana refused to join the others for a drink. I shudder to think how many more drinks Shirley and Mel later consumed. We vacated the studio with immediate effect and i was ordered to stay local just in case i was needed. I always quite liked Aspel, but i saw a darker side to his personality that evening and i did not much like what i saw.
    Thankfully Diana was fine once she was reunited with her family and she even remarked the following day at how well the recording had gone. I was amazed by this remark, and i thought to myself if this is her idea of being a good interview i would hate to be at the recording of a interview where she was unhappy with the recording. It was a few years later that i got to experience her idea of a hellish interview experience. That of course was the Clive Anderson fiasco!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Michael Aspel is another one whom Diana did not care much for...
    I was watching the Aspel appearance just last night. Someone recently posted a clear copy of it on YouTube. I thought Diana came off well but I wondered why Shirley kept hitting Mel in the head. I do remember Diana sort of admonishing Shirley for that, saying that if Mel did the same to her, people wouldn't think it was funny.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I was watching the Aspel appearance just last night. Someone recently posted a clear copy of it on YouTube. I thought Diana came off well but I wondered why Shirley kept hitting Mel in the head. I do remember Diana sort of admonishing Shirley for that, saying that if Mel did the same to her, people wouldn't think it was funny.
    I watched it again recently for the first time in maybe 25+ years and most of Shirley's antics were mercifully edited out. It was one hot mess believe me.

  14. #14
    I thought something with up with Shirley MacLaine in that interview. My friends daughter work at a high end underwear store in Beverly Hills and all the staff tried not helping Shirley because she was real rude at times and plain nasty other times. Thought she was better than everyone.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Michael Aspel is another one whom Diana did not care much for. He had interviewed her on his radio show a few years earlier - not sure if it was Capital Radio or Radio 2 but it all went swimmingly well and i did not anticipate any problems with her being a guest on his tv chat show. They had an uneventful meeting backstage prior to the recording in which Aspel asked her if there was any subject she did not want to discuss. Diana said she was fine with any subject and it was all very calm and relaxed. However Shirley Maclaine decided she would have a few drinks backstage before her slot, and a few drinks turned into a lot of drinks. She was very loud and boisterous by the time she was introduced to the audience. It took well over one hour for her chat to be recorded along with the late British comedian Mel Smith's slot. Diana was getting agitated backstage as she impatiently waited for her turn. She had been at the studio since early morning rehearsing her performance of Force Behind The Power, and was wanting to get back to her children one of whom had been unwell that day. Diana gave a reasonable performance of FBTP and then joined Shirley and Mel to be interviewed. Both Shirley and Mel were under the influence and kept interupting Diana. The recording took way longer than anticipated and Diana spoke sharply to Shirley who just laughed hysterically. It was awful. Aspel asked Diana why she was regarded as being difficult which i recall was cut from the broadcast, but the Marvin question was left in. Once the recording was completed Diana refused to join the others for a drink. I shudder to think how many more drinks Shirley and Mel later consumed. We vacated the studio with immediate effect and i was ordered to stay local just in case i was needed. I always quite liked Aspel, but i saw a darker side to his personality that evening and i did not much like what i saw.
    Thankfully Diana was fine once she was reunited with her family and she even remarked the following day at how well the recording had gone. I was amazed by this remark, and i thought to myself if this is her idea of being a good interview i would hate to be at the recording of a interview where she was unhappy with the recording. It was a few years later that i got to experience her idea of a hellish interview experience. That of course was the Clive Anderson fiasco!
    Do you know why Diana was not to enamoured with Graham Norton Bluebrock?. He always appears such an amicable kind of guy. Other then making her participate in that silly music quiz towards the end, the interview appeared to go well.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Do you know why Diana was not to enamoured with Graham Norton Bluebrock?. He always appears such an amicable kind of guy. Other then making her participate in that silly music quiz towards the end, the interview appeared to go well.
    She found him overbearing and irritating. In fairness to Norton he was very nervous at meeting Diana. He claimed to be a long standing fan, but when i asked him what his favorite Ross tracks were he named Stoned Love along with Ain't no mountain high enough. Surely any self respecting Ross fan would know Stoned Love was recorded after her departure from the Supremes. I made the mistake of telling her this. On other occasions she would have laughed it off, but not on this particular occasion! She put on her finest Queen Victoria frown and declared she was not amused! This was without doubt all down to me.
    She also encountered Norton at the taping of An Audience with Diana Ross around 1999. He had way too much to drink and made inappropriate remarks about the infamous Heathrow incident which had occurred only weeks before. Once again you can imagine how unamused she was by this, and i played no part in that particular spat!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    I thought something with up with Shirley MacLaine in that interview. My friends daughter work at a high end underwear store in Beverly Hills and all the staff tried not helping Shirley because she was real rude at times and plain nasty other times. Thought she was better than everyone.
    I have no trouble whatsoever believing that Roberta. She behaved terribly at the recording of this show. Prior to this i was a fan but this ghastly experience changed my attitude towards her.

  18. #18
    What an absolutely fascinating and illuminating thread.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by florence View Post
    What an absolutely fascinating and illuminating thread.
    Glad you are enjoying it. I am also having fun looking back on some wonderful, and some not so wonderful times.

  20. #20
    That just leaves us with a Michael Parkinson Bluebrock. I remember reading that prior to the interview he had been briefed not to mention Flo’s death. He decided to ignore it and asked her anyway. He again has a reputation of being a very decent guy. I for one really enjoyed his interview with Diana and am kind of glad he did what he did.
    I remember reading in the newspapers the next day that she thought he had been mean to her. It certainly didn't come across during the interview.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    That just leaves us with a Michael Parkinson Bluebrock. I remember reading that prior to the interview he had been briefed not to mention Flo’s death. He decided to ignore it and asked her anyway. He again has a reputation of being a very decent guy. I for one really enjoyed his interview with Diana and am kind of glad he did what he did.
    I remember reading in the newspapers the next day that she thought he had been mean to her. It certainly didn't come across during the interview.
    I remember watching the Parkinson interview. It was a few years prior to me coming on board, and like yourself i heard she was less than thrilled regarding his questions about Flo's passing. She even said in a later interview with The News of the World that she wanted to go back on the show to clarify some points. That never happened and i honestly do not know what her issue was. Parkinson was a thoroughly decent guy who had interviewed all the greats.
    Fast forward a few years and Diana found herself face to face with Michael Parkinson at a charity function in London. It may have been the Pride of Britain Awards. Parkinson came over to Diana's table and re-introduced himself to her. It was all very cordial and Diana was charm personified. They spoke for several minutes and hugged each other warmly. Whatever friction there may have been in the past there was little doubt in my mind that it was very firmly in the past. It was a lovely evening and everyone was in good spirits. That's all i can really tell you.

  22. #22
    To get back to the original topic Diana got along famously with Des O'Connor and also Terry Wogan. Those two were by far her favorite UK chat show hosts. It was the easiest thing in the world to book her on either or of those shows. The atmosphere was always relaxed with the notable exception of her first appearance on Wogan to promote Workin' Overtime which i have previously discussed in detail.
    Not sure which shows she would be comfortable appearing on these days. She did appear on Jonathan Ross's show back in the 80's so maybe he would be the natural choice for 2021.

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