Jonathan Ross has revealed the role he inadvertently played in landing comedian Michael McIntyre his big break.
The chat show host said his agent used him as leverage to get the then-unknown performer a slot in the Royal Variety Performance in 2006.
Speaking on Channel 5’s Michael McIntyre: In His Own Words, Ross said his late agent, Addison Cresswell, who also represented McIntyre, told the show organisers that Ross would only host the show if they added “his favourite comedian … Michael McIntyre”, to the bill.
Ross said: “I mean, obviously, it was a nice thing to be asked – for me to do. I was riding fairly high at the BBC at the time but I share an agent with Michael.
“Addison was a very brilliant man, and he’s sadly dead now, but he was a super, super-talented, brilliant agent.
“As I understand it, he said to the BBC – he didn’t tell me this – he said ‘Jonathan will definitely host it for you but only if you take his favourite comedian at the moment, Michael McIntyre.”
Ross added: “No-one ran this past me. I had no idea.
“I did like Michael a lot. I didn’t know that … and so I think there was a quid pro quo went on there.
“I think Michael knew it was an important evening for him because he was going to be performing, potentially, in front of a far larger audience at home than he had ever been exposed to before.”
– Michael McIntyre: In His Own Words is on Channel 5 at 9pm on January 1