Bee Gees: Excruciating moment trio walked off Clive Anderson TV show after host's music jibes
7 January 2022, 15:03
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.
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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".
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 Gibb's face began to darken.
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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."
The Bee Gees walk out of CLIVE ANDERSON TALKS BACK (BBC1, 30th October 1997)
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.
Barry Gibb spoke of the aftermath of the interview in 2016, saying he was pained by criticism of the Bee Gees.
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“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."
“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.”
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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."
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."