Graham Norton has revealed actress Carrie Fisher nearly pulled out of her final interview with him – her last ever – because she was feeling unwell just weeks before she died last year.
The chat show host, who was friends with the Star Wars actress, also said it has taken him a long time to come to terms with her death.
Fisher died on December 27 aged 60 after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
Norton, who interviewed Fisher earlier that month, told ITV’s This Morning: “It was extraordinary, it transpired that was her final interview.
“It was that thing like, ‘oh, if we’d known, I wish we’d done a better job’.
“It was such a shock. And because she wasn’t someone who was in my life all the time, it’s taken a long time to figure out that she has gone.”
He said: “She was ill – and I feel bad talking about it – she was under the weather, she was sick.
“She did nearly cancel and then she thought, ‘Graham will be nice to me’, so she got herself in the car and to the studio and got through the show.
“And we thought, ‘get well soon’… and then we heard the news of the heart attack. But you sort of thought, that can’t be the end of Carrie Fisher – she was such a life force.”
He added: “She was so larger than life, it seemed surely nothing so mundane could finish her.”
Norton, whose BBC chat show returns on Friday, also revealed that he did not probe Harrison Ford over his previous affair with his Star Wars co-star Fisher, which she spoke about last year while on the show.
Ford appears alongside his Blade Runner 2049 co-star Ryan Gosling on the sofa in the first episode of the new series.
Norton said: “I didn’t bring it up. You know he’s not going to talk about it… it’s my job to keep the conversation flowing.
“I’m not a journalist. Who cares? I’m not the police, I’m not there to interrogate people.”