WALES ON-LINE: FUNNYMAN Rhod Gilbert was totally overwhelmed by “Bassey-mania” when he shared the couch on The Graham Norton Show with the pride of Tiger Bay.
The Perrier Award-nominated comedian is on an all-Welsh edition of the BBC2 hit programme tonight but admitted he and Port Talbot actor Michael Sheen couldn’t compete against the 72-year-old Shirley Bassey.
The Carmarthen comic, 41, said: “The whole room was enthused with Bassey-mania.
“This monolith, this superstar just overshadowed everything. You couldn’t try and drive it. You couldn’t be star of the show. You could not, in any way, try to upstage her.
“You had to go around the edges without upsetting this massive applecart.”
Rhod, who hosts a Saturday morning show on BBC Radio Wales and has released a new DVD called Rhod Gilbert and the Award-Winning Mince Pie, and New Moon star Sheen were both warmly applauded when they took the stage.
But Bassey received a three minute standing ovation as flowers were thrown from the crowd.
But Bassey, who wears a “black number” on tonight’ s show was not too big to have a gossip about Wales as she and Rhod waited in the green room.
The stand up, who has just reached the end of a three-month tour, said: “We were chatting about Cardiff and Tiger Bay. She probably didn’t know who I was but she is a pro, she would have been briefed.
Dame Shirley outshines fellow Welsh stars on TV show
Nov 23 2009 by James McCarthy, Western MailSHE may be 72 but Dame Shirley Bassey still has enough star power to upstage a Hollywood actor and one of Wales’ most popular comedians.
The diva from Cardiff’s Tiger Bay “overshadowed everything” when she appeared on an edition of Graham Norton’s BBC chat show that is broadcast tonight, her co-stars have admitted.
Carmarthenshire-born funnyman Rhod Gilbert told the Western Mail he was starstruck when he shared a couch with the Big Spender singer and Port Talbot born actor Michael Sheen.
The comedian said: “When you go on something like that you have an idea that you want to take control.“But normally when you’re on things like that it is a level playing field with the guests in terms of status, if that is the right word.
“You hope for level billing but it was all Bassey. The whole room was enthused with Bassey-mania. This monolith, this superstar just overshadowed everything. You couldn’t try and drive it. You couldn’t be star of the show. You could not, in any way, try and upstage her. You had to go around the edges without upsetting this massive applecart.”
The comedian, who hosts a Saturday morning show on BBC Radio Wales, and New Moon star Sheen were both warmly applauded when they took the stage. But Bassey received a three-minute standing ovation as flowers were thrown from the crowd.Fans had flown in from as far as New York to see her.
The Western Mail’s list of Wales’ top 50 sexy men was one of the talking points on the show.Host Graham Norton produced a copy of the weekend magazine and then made fun of opera star Bryn Terfel – suggesting he did not deserve his place at number 2. Gilbert made it to number six.
Gilbert, 41, said: “Graham took the mick out of Bryn Terfel a bit saying, ‘You’re number six and Michael Sheen’s in there, but look at number two! Doesn’t that undermine the whole thing?’“But I defended him and said, ‘When you meet him in the flesh he is a fairly awe-inspiring and awesome person.’
“Even though on my own radio show I have laughed my head off that he’s number two.“But me sixth is incredible. Kelly Jones is at 18.
“I probably would not have put me in it anywhere at all. Gavin Henson, Mike Phillips, they should be way ahead of me.” Before the show, Gilbert said he had been worrying about how to behave with the only singer to have performed three Bond themes.
He said: “Me and Michael Sheen were whispering on the couch saying ‘this is going to be an odd one, it’s going to be difficult to know how to play this’.
“She was singing and the whole thing was about her.
“But neither of us had a problem with that, we both realised we were in the presence of greatness.”
Even if he had, there was nothing he could do, as the show was geared around the 135 million-selling Tiger Bay legend.
Tonight she sings the Manic Street Preacher penned The Girl From Tiger Bay.
Before the show Bassey, who wears a “black number” took time to have a chat about Wales with her two co-stars as they waited in the green room.
The stand-up, who has just reached the end of a three-month tour, said: “We were chatting about Cardiff and Tiger Bay. She probably didn’t know who I was but she is a pro, she would have been briefed. Though I don’t think she bought the DVD.
“It was difficult to be on a show so utterly dominated by a star.”
Gilbert was talking to the Western Mail at Cardiff HMV’s where he was signing copies of new DVD Rhod Gilbert and the Award Winning Mince Pie.