Radio producers name and shame biggest celebrity divas

Pharrell Williams, Beyonce and Channing Tatum have all pulled diva antics. Photo / AP, AFP
Pharrell Williams, Beyonce and Channing Tatum have all pulled diva antics. Photo / AP, AFP

Radio producers are the behind-the-scenes heroes who organise and prep all of the guests before they go on air.

They get to see what celebrities are really like when the microphones aren't on, and it's not always pretty.

Some of Australia's best FM radio producers have opened up to news.com.au (on the condition of anonymity) about their most memorable encounters with diva stars:

Beyonce

Beyonce. Photo / AP
Beyonce. Photo / AP

"Destiny's Child were doing interviews on the roof of Sydney's Park Hyatt, with panoramic harbour views.

"In addition to recording audio, I needed to get a photo of Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle with the hosts of our show.

"I asked everyone to stand for a quick group shot.

"Kelly and Michelle were straight up, but Beyoncé simply refused.

"'No, I'm not standing,' she said, prompting Kelly and Michelle to sit back down.

"My hosts had to lean in awkwardly from behind for the photo.

"Even back then it was clear Beyonce ran the world."

Kris Smith

"We had Kris Smith on when he had just started his relationship with Dannii Minogue and we played a game where we would give a 'Minogue fact' and he had to pick if it was about Kylie or Dannii.

"For example, 'I starred as a mechanic in Neighbours'.

"One of the facts was, 'I posed nude in Playboy'.

"Kris was a good sport and it was a good interview, but Kris never appeared on our show again. We were told soon after it was because he and Dannii were furious that we had brought up Playboy, even though she wrote about it in her autobiography.

"For five years Kris and Dannii banned us from all their publicity engagements, even cancelling some confirmed interviews with us at the last minute when they realised what show they were about to appear on."

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld.
Jerry Seinfeld.

"He was one of the most ice-cold people I have ever met.

"Just being in the room during the interview was an uncomfortable experience.

"He wouldn't greet anyone except the host of the show and even during the interview he remained stone cold."

Russell Brand

Russell Brand.
Russell Brand.

"He came into the station promote his movie, Get Him To The Greek.

"He was meant to go straight on air when he arrived but instead he went and locked himself in the station's disabled toilet.

"No one was allowed in except his assistant who was only allowed in to give him coffees.

"Russell stayed locked in there for 40 minutes leaving our hosts scrambling on air to explain why he wasn't in the studio yet.

"When he eventually came out for the interview, he never explained why he was late or what he was doing in the bathroom."

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande.
Ariana Grande.

"Ariana Grande was a diva, but her mum, who came with her, was even worse.

"Ariana had strict rules about what side she could be filmed and photographed from and she refused to look our hosts in the face.

"In fact she pretty much did the whole interview with her back to our hosts.

"But her mum ... She wouldn't let anyone get near Ariana.

"I needed to go into the studio to give one of my hosts a bottle of water and her mum yelled at me as I started walking in.

"She said, 'You're not allowed in there. I'll take it in'."

Melissa George

"The former Home and Away star was quite nice behind the scenes.

"One of the other producers explained to her that we wanted to play a game on air to do with French words, because she lives in Paris.

"Melissa was cool with it.

"But when we got on air and the hosts introduced the game, she said, "This is the first I've heard about this. I didn't agree to this game." And she refused to play.

"The hosts then angrily glared at the producer who had been totally thrown under the bus by Melissa."

Madonna

Madonna. Photo / AP
Madonna. Photo / AP

"We flew to London to interview her.

"She made us wait four hours until we could finally go into the interview room.

"Prior to our interview, she threw out a German reporter for asking, "What special power would you like to have?"

"Her people advised us not to ask anything as stupid as that ... we complied."

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum.
Channing Tatum.

"He was being interviewed with Jonah Hill for 22 Jump Street. A number of interviewers had referred to Jonah as 'the funny one'.

"Tatum got so upset by this that he was hanging up on any radio interviewer who hinted at that.

"His people were then telling interviewers to make sure we mentioned he was funny too."

Sexist Singer

Female producer: "I once had an Aussie singing icon, and much-loved household name, refuse to shake my hand when I greeted him in reception. He happily shook the hand of every male on the team. It was a very awkward trip in the lift when I took him to the studios."

Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill. Photo / AP
Jonah Hill. Photo / AP

"During our interview he kept scribbling and scribbling on a newspaper without looking up.

Once he had left we looked at what he had scribbled.

"He had drawn a number of large dicks and balls on the newspaper, kind of like his character in Superbad."

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams.
Pharrell Williams.

"We prerecorded our interview with the music superstar who later told us in no uncertain terms that we couldn't play the first five minutes of his chat as he 'hadn't warmed up yet'."

Chopper Read

"A year before his death he came in to the studios for an interview.

"He insisted on wanting to smoke during the interview ... Everyone was too afraid to tell him that smoking was banned so we just pretended like it was all good and let him puff away."

Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo.
Jason Derulo.

"We were at his hotel interviewing him when halfway through our chat he cut off one of the hosts mid-question and walked over to the phone to order himself an egg-white omelet.

"We were all stunned.

"He then casually walked back to his chair and said, 'resume'."

Aussie Singer

Female producer: "I was once subjected to an hour of unwanted sexual advances from the lead singer of an iconic Australian band from the '80s.

"It started from the moment I met him when he was getting out of his cab and continued until I put him back into the cab.

"He basically detailed every single thing he loved about my body and outfit.

"Just thinking about that washed-up singer, who smelt of 1000 cigarettes, makes my blood run cold."

- news.com.au

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