So who are his dream guests? 'Well, I'd happily invite back Dolly Parton, Cher and Glenn Close. And I've long been pursuing Bette Midler, which I think will happen.' But top of the list remains Madonna. 'We'd give her a special.'
Perhaps the release of W.E., the film she's directed about Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, will be the hook. 'Yes,' he says, 'although I do worry. I'm told she's been hands-on with that project. But is she listening to anyone else? You can just hear it, can't you? "What do you mean, it's pronounced Lefftenant?"
'But a friend of mine has recently become a sort of friend of hers. And he says she does quite a good impression of a normal person, given how Billy Bonkers she has a right to be.'