The Best Talk Show Sofas of All Time
There are many important elements to a talk show; the host, the guests, the music and the audience all contribute to making great television moments that the audience will never forget. But the unsung hero of the talk show is undoubtedly the sofa. Whether opting for a velvety swivel chair or a luxurious real leather sofa, the seating arrangements are the most important part of the set design and should be fit to welcome the most exclusive A-listers. They need to offer their guests ultimate comfort and encourage them to open up and relax whilst being interviewed. The aesthetic is also important; set design plays a key role in many iconic talk shows, and choosing a sofa which will fit a certain aesthetic is vital. This guide takes a look at some of the most famous talk show sofas over the years and examines their merits, both as a seat for celebrities and as a domestic seating arrangement.
As one of the longest running chat shows in UK television history, Michael Parkinson’s eponymous show inevitably underwent many set redesigns over the years. During its reign as the most-watched talk show in Britain, Parky veered from almost office-like swivel chairs to deep leather armchairs which were host to the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Muhammad Ali and Michael Caine. The format of the show has become iconic, and Parky himself has become the chat show host that everyone else attempts to emulate.
Placing the words ‘Oprah’ and ‘sofa’ in the same sentence can bring to mind only one image; one of the most enduring celebrity pictures of the past decade. When Tom Cruise used Oprah’s genuine leather sofa as a literal launch pad to declare his love for actress Katie Holmes, the world was stunned, and thousands of parodies were spawned across the globe. Oprah’s sofa remained unscathed after Cruise’s actions, which were entertaining and embarrassing in equal measure; real leather sofas such as the one on Oprah’s set are hardwearing and durable, and can withstand not only children and pets climbing all over them, but grown men jumping up and down on them shouting their love from the rooftops.
The Jonathan Ross Show
Jonathan Ross’ talk show on BBC1 was one of the mainstays of Friday night television for many years. The vibrant red set was complemented perfectly by a rich and dark genuine leather sofa, which hosted some of the most famous names in the world. After his switch to ITV1, Jonathan Ross completely reinvented his show, with one exception; the leather sofa. Albeit a slightly different model, the leather sofa remained as the staple of his set design and continues to play host to big names like Keira Knightley, Justin Bieber and Simon Cowell.
Jonathan Ross has been touted as Michael Parkinson’s natural successor, with his easy blend of comedy and probing questions providing some of the most interesting and entertaining interviews of recent years. This can be put down to the man himself, but also in part to the comfort of the sofa on his set, on which guests regularly put their feet up and completely relax whilst they are being interviewed. Sofas like this are often found in homes up and down the country, as people entertain guests, curl up to read a book, or kick back to watch shows like Oprah, Parkinson and Jonathan Ross.
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