Are celebrity radio interviews scripted? For example do the host and celebrity know exactly how the interview is going to go?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Someone's eyes are being opened... Hahaha.

    So, there are definitely real, LIVE interviews of celebrities - the Howard Stern show is a good example - you can see (or at least, you could at one time when they were televised) the guests come in and talk. But, yes, many celebs will make arrangements via their publicists about what questions they will or won't allow to be asked.

    But there are plenty of "fake live" radio interviews too, and in fact, this has been happening for decades. Here's how it works: the celeb will go into a studio, and someone will read a list of interview questions one at a time (questions that have been given to the celeb in advance and approved), and the celeb will answer the questions. Recordings of the celeb's answers will be recorded and copies made and shipped to radio stations. At one time, this was sent on tape, later on CDs, and today more often via the Internet.

    Anyway, the radio station will get the recordings, along with a document containing the questions, and the Program Director will assign a DJ to record himself asking the interview questions. Then the DJ's recordings will be edited together with the celeb's answers and presented on-air as if the celeb was actually in the studio.

    A similar technique is often done with TV interviews. Someone will be interviewed on a set, and a single camera will remain on them, recording their answers. Sometimes a producer or assistant will stand in as the interviewer, but will remain off-camera. Then, the tape/recording of the interview is brought back and a big, important TV anchor will be filmed asking the same interview questions on a similar-looking set (or against a green-screen), and then the recordings will be edited together to make it look like it was done live. This might be done because the anchor didn't have time on his schedule to go to the interviewee's location, or maybe because it wasn't safe to do so, or whatever.

    The important part to remember is that this has been happening for decades. Not that it's a big deal, really, but you always need to remember that when you are dealing with media, there are lots of opportunities for the production team to manipulate the audio and images to tell a story that isn't the actual, factual truth. Now, many times, the changes are no big deal, but sometimes they're a huge deal.

    Director Michael Moore, for example, has built his career using "creative edition" to tell false stories.

    • Thanks for this. Would the radio host know how the guest is going to respond to the questions?

    • In some cases, sure. Some interviews might be rehearsed in advance, or be answered in advance by a publicist, with the celeb more-or-less duplicating these answers in the live interview.

      And obviously in the cases where the interview is recorded in advance, the interviewer will have listened to the celeb's answers in advance to make his question-asking sound more natural and fluid.

Most Helpful Girl

  • I think questions are listed and the celeb is given sample questions to know what to expect and the host is give a list of questions they are not allowed to ask. I've seen interviews where the host askes those questions anyways and the celeb gets pissed or the interview ends


What Guys Said 1

  • I would say some are - I have heard that some celebrities won't agree to an interview unless they get questions beforehand.


What Girls Said 1

  • Not exactly. The interviewer and celebrity do have a "practice interview" off the air so the celebrity can get some idea of what the interview will be about and get some pointers, but the interview isn't exactly the same as the live one. So they know the gist of how the interview will go but not the details.