'I want to apologise for a very weak panel show Sue Perkins and I did' | Mel Giedroyc Unforgivable interview © UKTV

'I want to apologise for a very weak panel show Sue Perkins and I did'

Mel Giedroyc Unforgivable interview

Mel Giedroyc's panel show Unforgivable returns to Dave next week. Here she teases some of the terrible secrets that are shared... and makes a few confessions of her own...

What makes a perfect Unforgivable guest?

My favourites, I have to say, are the ones with quite a few flying hours aka the slightly older ones… they don’t give a shit. I give you Shirley Ballas who I am now calling Shirley Badass.

Is it possible to overshare on this show?

Yes, and people do, including Lou [Sanders, her co-host] and I. You get a bit competitive. You know what it’s like when there are other comics in the room. There’s that love community, lovely bonhomie and then it’s like, ‘Oh hang on, Omid Djalili said something really funny and got a big laugh from the audience.’ 

I have shared stuff that I blatantly haven’t told my family. I’ve dobbed my brother in this series quite badly and my mum as well a couple of times. You can’t help it.

Lou has shared that you have recently had a couple of tattoos done…

 Neil Jones, one of the dancers on Strictly, moonlights is a tattoo artist. And he’s a great pal of mine. We did the Strictly Christmas show a few years ago. Neil was apprenticing at the time, so I put my faith into his hands. He did me a little sea horse on one arm and BFV on the other which stands for Ben, Floss and Vita, my family.

Do you share appalling stories with Lou even when you are not making the show?

She’s Lou Sanders. I think oversharing is her byword. She is the most gorgeous human being ever. She’s taught me a few things, Lou. I really admire her openness and her brilliance. I think she has done a lot for female comedy, Lou Sanders.

Who is your best oversharer this series?

I think this series it’s Jamie Laing. He’s fantastic. He spilled about eight stories. All the researchers were like, ‘He never said that on the phone!’ He’s such a good man, Jamie. He’s properly down to earth and takes the piss out of himself.

Has Rylan got plenty to spill as a guest?

The best thing that happened during the Rylan record was we had a fire drill. The fire alarm went off. I thought, ‘Is this a gag I’ve forgotten about?’ No, it was a real fire drill.

The floor manager who is in charge of these sort of situations said, ‘If everyone can make their way to Hammersmith Bridge, please.’ Rylan turns to me and a few others and says, ‘I’ve got my credit card. Let’s go down the pub.’ So, we went down the pub for 45 minutes. I had a Bacardi and coke and got absolutely smashed and then we went back in and continued the show. That guy is quality.

Do people now try to tell you their appalling stories when you are out and about?

Yes, it’s either that or baking. I left that show eight years ago and I still get stopped in supermarkets. Not for any kind of reason other than, ‘I’m making a cheesecake. Would you suggest using a cream cheese?’ It’s really lovely but I always give them the wrong information. I’m not a baker but I try and do my best.

There are also quite a few woodworking questions now or indeed people wanting to confess. I see myself as a sort of Catholic priest but obviously not behind a grille or with two thousand years of terrible behaviour.

Are there any unforgivable stories you wish you could un-hear?

Joel Dommett’s stories. I think he took the biscuit this time. It was absolutely fabulous what he was prepared to do. Also, Lorraine Kelly saying the word ‘motherfucker’ twice. It’s rather wonderful that in 2023 we are in an era where a national treasure like Lorraine Kelly can come on and be absolutely filthy and unforgivable and she can still work.

Is there any bad behaviour you would like to fess up to since the last series?

I did a rather mean thing to one of my daughters. She went back to uni for the summer term. She said, ‘That amazing 80s jumper, that one I got at the kilo sale with the brilliant bright colours. Have you seen it, Mum?' I said, ‘Oh no, sorry luvvy, I know that’s a real favourite of yours.’

Anyway, she went off. I had hidden it. I had it in my wardrobe under a stack of shoes and I wore it for the whole of the term. That’s just mean. That’s really bad parenting!

Rosie Jones returns this series. Did she still have plenty of unforgivable confessions?

She is hilarious. She told a story about a taxidermy owl which I frankly could have listened to all day. It was very, very strong. And another one about pulling a girl in a loo and then getting stuck in the loo. There is always something like that going on with Rosie.

Dermot O’Leary revealed your 90s snog last series. Should viewers be looking out for any more exciting revelations this series?

Sadly, that is my only showbiz story. And my god I have wheeled it out enough. We’ve milked that story. I wish I was like Courtney Love. I wish I had a thousand 90s stories. I’m so lame. Actually, I’m sure Perks [Sue Perkins] could dig up a few. If we get a series five, I think she’s got to do it. 

It’s weird we’ve sort of made a pact with each other that when we do shows like this the other person doesn’t come on as a guest, but I think for series five bring her on. She’s got so much dirt on me, that girl, and vice versa.

Nish Kumar, Ruby Wax and Reuben Kaye are your guests for episode 3. What should we brace ourselves for with those three?

Nish, Ruby and reuben with Mel and Lou

Heavily brace for all three. Reuben Kaye is magnificent. What an incredible performer, storyteller, ad-libber, just an all-round filth bucket.

And I was so chuffed that Ruby said yes. She doesn’t usually do stuff like this. She was hilarious. She was the kind of centrifugal force of filth on episode one. Her stories of smuggling drugs and hitchhiking on private jets. Let’s remember she was doing the pranks, the stunts, the brave stuff long before your Ali G or Dennis Pennis or any of those guys. She was a real barrier breaker and another icon of female comedy. She was fearless. 

And Nish is just this ball of energy full of the joys. You put him in any kind of situation, and he brings the laughs. I think he was quite shocked at how much people were revealing.

Jonathan Ross confessed to farting when he got up to greet Dannii Minogue on his chat show. What’s been your most embarrassing panel show experience?

Belching heavily. Really outrageously like a docker. It was a show that Jimmy Carr was hosting. I had been in a corset all day rehearsing something and on the evening record I just let rip. The audience looked genuinely shocked. 

Also, I was recently doing Children in Need live, and I had to be in a Tardis with Jason Manford and a very sweet guy who was operating a smoke machine. It was a very confined space. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this Tardis was not bigger on the inside. It was very tiny and I just guffed three times in front of this guy with the smoke machine. Really awful. I’m 55. Things happen.

 Is there anyone from your past that you would welcome the chance to apologise to as the mystery guest?

I would say the entire viewership of a very, very weak panel show that Sue and I did after Light Lunch in the late 90s. Casting Couch on ITV.

We didn’t know what we were doing. We were young, we were foolish, and we went for the money. What more can I say?

What Unforgivable merch would you like to see?

A Lorraine Kelly sew-on badge saying ‘motherfucker’ with her face on it.

What have you learned about life, celebrities or yourselves from making Unforgivable?

I’ve learned don’t drink a Bacardi and Diet Coke before a show because you will tell all manner of awful things. That celebrities do all the stuff that comes out of the same orifices as us. 

As for life, people’s misdemeanours just keep getting worse. Not in a depressing way. It’s all great fodder for our show. Some people have come away from the show saying it was like a group therapy session. 

We have had poignant moments as well. We had a little cry with Shirley Badass, which was rather lovely. It was genuinely touching. We had a group hug on stage. All emotions are welcome.

• Mel Giedroyc Unforgivable returns to Dave at 2pm next Tuesday, March 12, at 10pm. Read an interview with Lou here.

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Published: 4 Mar 2024

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