Alfie Boe and Naomi Campbell Top the Action on UK's 'The Jonathan Ross Show'


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
One of the nice things about 'The Jonathan Ross Show,' an English talk show that airs in the United Kingdom, is that it brings back a tradition mostly lost in America, that of keeping all the guests around for the entire hour. Most talkers today invite a guest on for their segment and then, poof, they are gone. Back in the day, however, the typical program saw all the personalities sitting on stage for the duration. It added spice and you just never knew what would happen next.

For example, one night on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' consumer advocate Ralph Nader was on talking about cat foot. Actor Patrick Swayze had been on prior to him and naturally was still there when Nader began his bit. Imagine the reaction when Swayze surprised everyone when he began to eat the cat food! Those kind of moments are rare on today's American circuit.

The Ross show does have a difference, though, because instead of sitting on stage, the guests are behind a screen in the proverbial green room, all on a couch, watching the action. Cameras are on them at all times which means two things. First, the camera goes to the various guests throughout the show, letting the audience see their reactions to whatever is happening on stage and second, they can be brought into the show at any time because their mics are open once Ross speaks to them for whatever reason. I love it.

The Saturday evening show on October 26th was filmed on the 23rd and featured guests Alfie Boe, model Naomi Campbell, comic Stephen Merchant, and UK X-Factor judges Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger. The episode closed out with a musical song from Laura Mvula that did nothing to keep my attention.

As a fan of Alfie Boe, I was most eager to see his segment. He talked as he has done before about using the same technique to sing regardless of the musical genre at hand and demonstrated his point by singing the opening line of Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll along with the closing lines of the operatic aria Nessun Dorma. Each time, the cameras flashed on the green room where Scherzinger and Campbell were both shown with happily amazed and thoroughly impressed smiles on their faces while both Barlow and Walsh exhibited 'wow' looks. As fans say, they were clearly Boe'd.

The famous tenor, who is promoting the November 11th release of his new CD, Trust, in the UK, chatted about his daughter as well, revealing that her school has asked him to sing at their Christmas concert, but that the five-year-old won't let him because it would be "too embarrassing." The youngster has just begun school in America after the Boe family moved from the Cotswolds in England to Los Angeles, California so that the singer could be closer to the place he considers to be the music capitol of the world.

He also stated he has finally seen the movie 'Les Miserables' and explained that he had auditioned for the role of Jean Valjean, which he had played at the O2 Arena during the 25th Anniversary Concert in 2010 and then on the West End for six months in 2011. Boe noted that the guy who auditioned after him was Hugh Jackman, who ultimately got the part. Making fun of not getting the role, the lighthearted performer went overboard in telling Ross that he was fine with not getting the part:

"I wasn't bitter at all about losing out to Hugh Jackman and not getting into the movies cause, y'know, I can sleep at night still; I'm all right. I didn't hate him, y'know. It wasn't a big problem at all. It wasn't a *big* deal, okay."

Then Boe showed why he is so beloved as Valjean by singing the last part of the wonderful prayer, Bring Him Home.

Earlier, the trio of X-Factor judges had some fun with Ross at the expense of X-Factor creator Simon Cowell and also speculated that the infamous Cowell might return to judge the show again next season. Barlow is leaving the competition series at the end of its current run to record another album with his group and work more on his solo singing career.

After Merchant's segment that promoted his new British series, diva Campbell draped herself on the couch next to Ross' desk for most of her chat with him. After plugging her British model reality show 'The Face' (similar to one she participated in the US on the Oxygen Channel), Campbell and Ross had a coy exchange that went on for a couple of minutes over her private life. She held her ground quite well.

What happened next was a real hoot. In 1993, Campbell had fallen on a runway wearing a pair of platform shoes. Ross surprised her with the actual shoes and asked her to put them on and do a short catwalk with them. Before that, though, he roused the others in the green room and each was told to do their own model-like walk. Boe turned his walk into a comedic opportunity, as I suspected he would do before he'd been introduced. Indeed, after he made a couple of overly done model poses and did his walk to the front of the stage, he began the walk back and without missing a beat, did a perfect pratfall, going straight down to the floor and bouncing up to the roar of the audience. He then walked a stuttered stomp up the stairs, giving his patented thumbs up to Ross just before going offstage. The singer loves to comedic falls and is known for doing them even during his sellout concerts.

Boe's pratfall was bested only by Walsh completing the runway show by walking out in another pair of the platform shoes.

Overall, it was a pleasure to watch the Ross show. Some bits were too raunchy for my taste and there was a bit of language that went beyond my personal preferences, but the interviews were interesting and the show moved well.

Now in it's fifth season, 'The Jonathan Ross Show' airs every Saturday at 10pm on ITV>