The campy comic, whose talk show can be seen here on BBC America, made what the family considers a highly offensive joke about the sudden death of singer Maurice Gibb — and the brothers are have come out swinging. Verbally. (For the moment.)
While Barry and Robin Gibb struggled to come to terms with their brother’s sudden death last month, Graham joked on his show, “I bet Maurice Gibb’s heart monitor was singing the tune of Stayin’ Alive.”
The station’s switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree with calls from angry fans. And then the brothers got wind of the comment, and all hell broke loose.
Maurice’s twin, Robin, is livid.
“I want an apology from Channel 4, the producers of Graham Norton and Graham Norton himself because he chose to say it,” he said in a recent TV interview.
“This man I will never forgive,” fumed Gibb.
“It’s a small industry and he should hope that he never crosses paths with me because I will rip his head off if I see him.”
The network insists that Norton’s remark was intended as an “affectionate reference” to the late singer. Graham, for his part, says that he apologized already, and now he’s apologizing because the family didn’t get the apology. Sorry?
“I did apologize to the family when the issue first arose,” he said. “And I’m very sorry that this apology did not reach the family at the time.”
No matter how much the comedian grovels, we don’t think Robin will be joining his fan club any time soon.
“I used to respect [Graham Norton], who I now detest,” said Gibb. “I think he’s scum.”