Bee Gees: Excruciating moment trio walked off Clive Anderson TV show after host's music jibes

25 September 2020, 16:23 | Updated: 25 September 2020, 17:22

Barry Gibb and his brother Maurice and Robin famously walked out of the interview with Clive Anderson in 1997
Brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb famously walked out of the interview with Clive Anderson in 1997. Picture: Youtube/BBC1/Clive Anderson

The Bee Gees walking out of an incredibly awkward TV interview in 1997 has become one of the most infamous moments in British chat show history.

Appearing on the Clive Anderson All Talk show, the Bee Gees famously walked off set after growing tired at the host's continuous jokes about their music.

Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb were appearing on the show when host Clive Anderson made the remarks about the trio.

See more: The greatest Bee Gees songs of all time, ranked

Just seconds into the interview, the presenter compared the group's high falsetto to Mickey Mouse and also said the Bee Gees were "hit writers" with "one letter shy".

Appearing on the Clive Anderson All Talk show in 1997, the Bee Gees famously walked off set after growing tired at the host's jibes about their music
Appearing on the Clive Anderson All Talk show in 1997, the Bee Gees famously walked off set after growing tired at the host's jibes about their music. Picture: Youtube/BBC1/Clive Anderson
"We&squot;re getting on like a storm, aren&squot;t we Clive", Barry Gibb says sarcastically, adding: "In fact I might just leave." Pictured on the Clive Anderson show in 1997
Just seconds into the interview, the presenter compared the group's high falsetto to Mickey Mouse and also said the Bee Gees were "hit writers" with "one letter shy". Picture: Youtube/BBC1/Clive Anderson

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Clive went on to say that he thought the band were "sisters" rather than brothers, and that "his dog" loves their high-pitched music.

The big turning point came, however, when he said the band will "always be Les Tossers to me” and Barry's face began to darken.

See more: Remembering the last time the Bee Gees performed live together

The interview continued, with Clive seemingly genuinely interested in the group's upbringing and early music, until the host joked he'd "forgotten that one" when discussing an old song of Barry's.

"We're getting on like a storm, aren't we Clive", Barry says sarcastically, adding: "In fact I might just leave."

See more: Bee Gees first TV gig: Teenage Barry Gibb and 10 year olds Robin and Maurice sing in 1960

Just seconds into the interview, the presenter compared the group&squot;s high falsetto to Mickey Mouse and also said the Bee Gees were "hit writers" with "one letter shy".
"We're getting on like a storm, aren't we Clive", Barry Gibb says sarcastically, adding: "In fact I might just leave." The Bee Gees pictured on the Clive Anderson show in 1997. Picture: Youtube/BBC/Saturday Superstore

The star then gets to his feet, points a finger at the host and says: "And you're the t****r, pal."

The interview has become infamous as one of the most awkward encounters in UK TV history.

See more: The Story of... 'Stayin' Alive' by the Bee Gees

Barry Gibb spoke of the aftermath of the interview in 2016, saying he was pained by criticism of the Bee Gees.

“Yes, I found the jokes hurtful,” he told The Sun. “Interviews were often based on the negative, never based on the positive. And that’s one of the reasons we walked off Clive Anderson."

See more: Bee Gees' Barry Gibb emotionally speaks about losing his brothers: "I'm the last man standing"

“It was just a barrage of inferred insults,” says Barry. “And we were fans of Clive Anderson so that made me sad. I just snapped.”

Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb were appearing on the BBC show when host Clive Anderson made the remarks about the trio.
Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb were appearing on the BBC show when host Clive Anderson made the remarks about the trio. Picture: Getty

Maurice has also spoken regarding his frustration surrounding the encounter, saying he has been looking forward to being on the show.

"We expected actually to have a good time with Clive 'cause I've always liked him," he told interviewer Bernie Quayle.

"I've sort of followed his career a bit.. so I was enjoying it. I said, 'Oh, yeah. It should be fun to do that.' And we were really disappointed."

See more: The Story of... 'How Deep is Your Love' by Bee Gees

Clive Anderson has had time to reflect on the interview and has since admitted he was wrong in his remarks.

"I think I got the pitch of that wrong," he told the Express earlier this year, "[it] went from the best to the worst in a few minutes."

Watch next: Relive the Bee Gees' flawless impromptu acapella performance of 'How Deep Is Your Love' on live TV - video