When Louis Met... Max Clifford (2002 TV Special)
[Pre-opening titles clip - Louis and Max are looking at a newspaper which is out of shot]
Max Clifford: We're trying to find a lot more about this particular young lady.
Louis Theroux: Why?
Max Clifford: Because seemingly she's had a recent personal involvement with a well-known celebrity.
Louis Theroux: Can I announce that I just saw a photo of a young woman in lingerie with very large breasts?
Max Clifford: Yes, course you can.
[Westlife have arrived at the hospital and are meeting their pre-teen girl fans]
Louis Theroux: Is this all going according to plan?
Max Clifford: Yes.
Louis Theroux: You look quite happy.
Max Clifford: Oh, I'm very happy. You can see how happy they are.
Louis Theroux: Yeah, they're, they're... you can feel the hormones coming off them, I think it's like a heat phase. What are those, pheromones? What do you call that?
Max Clifford: I think it's just the effect you have actually, Louis.
Louis Theroux: And their faces, they go bright red.
[to a heavily blushing young girl]
Louis Theroux: Are you all right?
Louis Theroux: [to one of the Westlife boys] Are you wearing a touch of foundation?
Louis Theroux: Now, this is a little sensitive, but I've got to level with about it, I had always thought Simon was gay. And yet they're talking about kiss-and-tells with women. Is he gay?
Max Clifford: No.
Louis Theroux: Would you tell me if he were gay?
Max Clifford: No, no, I wouldn't, no, if it was something that we were going to keep quiet.
Louis Theroux: He is gay, Max, isn't he?
Max Clifford: Now, you see, he said exactly the same thing about you.
Louis Theroux: You're turning the tables on me and I can't handle it!
[Louis goes to Max Clifford's house and meets his wife, Liz]
Max Clifford: Liz is not really too interested in things that I'm involved with, she's more interested in the things that matter, like the Marsden, she was very interested in that, when we went up there with Westlife.
Louis Theroux: See, that's the precise opposite of me, I'm only interested in the things that don't matter.
Louis Theroux: What do you think, quick tour of the house?
Max Clifford: You'd better ask Liz.
Liz Clifford: Why would you want to do a tour of the house?
Max Clifford: Because he's nosy.
Louis Theroux: It's what enquiring minds want to know.
Max Clifford: [speaking at the Oxford Union] Every day, every week, every month, a lot of the lies that you see in the newspapers, in the magazines, on television, on the radio, are mine.
Louis Theroux: Of the celebrities in the public eye, are there a lot of them that you have information on?
Max Clifford: Of course, because people call me every day with information on all kinds of people.
Louis Theroux: What do you have, do you have files?
Max Clifford: No.
Louis Theroux: [points to his head] So it's all up here?
Max Clifford: I'm not interested in tittle-tattle and gossip. It doesn't interest me and it never has done.
Louis Theroux: Because there's a popular image of you, Max, as someone who kind of has a reservoir of banked stories that you can play like poker chips.
Max Clifford: I probably have a lot of information on an awful lot of people.
Louis Theroux: That's a bit of a shame in a way, I like the idea of you and your filing cabinets, riffling through the celebrity names. Do you what I mean? I was hoping maybe you might even have something on me that you would dangle over my head like a guillotine.
Max Clifford: No, no. I mean, if that day ever comes then I'll have a quiet word with you and say if I was you I'd be very careful about such-and-such, 'cos they're not the friend that you think they are. I do a lot of that as well.
Louis Theroux: Really? But if you didn't like the way this documentary turned out and you felt we treated you unfairly...
Max Clifford: Oh, if you took liberties then that's a different matter.
Louis Theroux: Then what?
Max Clifford: Then you've started a fight.
Louis Theroux: And then what?
Max Clifford: And then I'd fight back.
Louis Theroux: How?
Max Clifford: Whichever way I found to be most suitable.
Louis Theroux: With information?
Max Clifford: If that day ever happens then you'll find out soon enough.
[Max has taken Louis to the children's cancer unit of the Royal Marsden Hospital, where the boyband Westlife are coming to meet the children. Then Simon Cowell arrives]
Louis Theroux: Here he is, Simon Cowell!
Simon Cowell: How are you?
Louis Theroux: How do you do? Nice to meet you.
[he shakes hands with Simon, who is smiling and friendly]
Louis Theroux: How about that? How about that? It's the whole Max Clifford menagerie. And what are you doing here, today?
Simon Cowell: Well, that's a good question, actually...
Max Clifford: He's guest of honour. Basically, he arranged it. Because it was - I spoke to Simon, he spoke to Westlife.
Simon Cowell: Well, I brought the Westlife boys down, yeah.
Louis Theroux: Did you? Because you're their producer.
Simon Cowell: Yeah.
Louis Theroux: How brilliant. How funny. So, I picked up my, uh, regular sunday paper yesterday, which is The Sport, of course, and read about your sexual prowess.
Simon Cowell: And?
Louis Theroux: Is that all you want to say? I've got it...
[he pulls out a copy of the trashy tabloid paper. Simon laughs]
Simon Cowell: Can I just say there are children present here, Louis.
Louis Theroux: Hypothetically, if a TV performer were gay, and you wanted to sort of defray that or put a stop to it, then would you put a kiss-and-tell...
Max Clifford: Well, the most effective way would be for me to create a relationship.
[he gets out an issue of the News of the World]
Louis Theroux: Like, for example, this one.
Max Clifford: No, not like this one. It would have to be a long-term one.
Louis Theroux: [reading out the article's headline] "Nasty Simon was my Sex Idol in bed"
Max Clifford: And she's a very, um, sexy looking...
Louis Theroux: She is very attractive.
[he reads the article]
Louis Theroux: She went out with Clive Sinclair.
Max Clifford: He's the one that really scored, he's the one, Simon is...
Louis Theroux: And you believe this?
Max Clifford: Well, of course, it's in the News of the World, so no reason not to.
Louis Theroux: [reading] "I ripped his towel off and he lay on his back and moaned as I pleasured him." What does she get out of this?
Max Clifford: She should be earning ten thousand pounds for that. But maybe she would have got two or three thousand pounds herself.
Louis Theroux: I like this: "However when Simon discovered that Vicky had discussed his private performance with the News of the World, he rang her in a panic. 'He begged me not to say anything about him and said he was a very private person. But he doesn't have anything to fear from my appraisal, I gave him top marks.'"
Max Clifford: Well, there you are, you see. Says it all, doesn't it?
Louis Theroux: It's cobblers, isn't it?
Max Clifford: [coming out of his office after a private talk with Simon Cowell] The only thing about that, you see, was that I will probably get...
[turns around and sees the camera]
Max Clifford: Oh. We'll wait until you've switched off and then we'll talk.
Louis Theroux: Go on. Max, what were you going to say?
Max Clifford: I was going to have a chat to you about Friday. And I will do, when we stop the...
Louis Theroux: What's happening on Friday?
Max Clifford: This is what we're gonna discuss in a minute.
Louis Theroux: That's alright, we can talk about that.
Max Clifford: No, we can't.
[Louis says nothing and looks at him, hoping he'll say something to break the silence. Max says nothing. They stare each other out and the camera fades out after 20 seconds]
Max Clifford: [discussing the previous night where Louis was dragged along to a strip club with Max, Simon Cowell, the Daily Mirror's 3am girls and some press photographers] What was interesting at Spearmint Rhino last night was you, if you like, getting a little bit of the taste of the spotlight that you put on other people, and seeing how you react. And you looked very uncomfortable. And from what the other people have told me since, be it Ann-Marie, be it the girls from 3am, that you were very uncomfortable and looking extremely embarrassed.
Louis Theroux: I did, I found it embarrassing.
Max Clifford: Well, there you go. So that's what was interesting, you know, the biter gets bit. Which a lot of people could say the same thing applies to Max Clifford.
Louis Theroux: I'm not a biter. I'm not a biter, am I, Simon?
Simon Cowell: A nibbler.
Louis Theroux: I'm a tickler.
[In his local supermarket, Max has gone off to talk to Guardian journalist Simon Hattenstone, who had previously asked to interview Louis but was told they'd do it after he was filming. Max is telling Hattenstone about how he's been keeping Louis in the dark, but his microphone is still switched on]
Louis Theroux: [voiceover] I felt neither Max nor Simon Hattenstone were being totally honest with me, and I decided to confront them about what was going on.
Louis Theroux: I just wish you'd level with me and tell me what really happened.
Louis Theroux: Obviously, I know you're here because I'm here.
[turns back to Max]
Louis Theroux: So, you shouldn't have to lie about that.
Max Clifford: Nobody's lying to you, Louis. You mustn't get paranoid about these things, you just relax. This young man is doing a piece on me, and has been. He was aware I was coming down here.
[Louis starts questioning Simon Hattenstone]
Max Clifford: Well, you talk to each other. This is silly - No, if you're gonna be silly about it then you can all fuck off.
[he walks off with his shopping trolley]
Louis Theroux: [to Simon Hattenstone] We just overheard you on the mic saying "Do you think we should level with Louis" and Max said "No, don't tell him the truth".
[Max comes back and starts removing the microphone attached to his clothes]
Max Clifford: Tell what we'll do, we'll call it day. Just let me concentrate on my shopping and doing what I do. If everyone's gonna be silly about this, then...
[his voice is muffled]
Louis Theroux: To be fair, Max, we've never lied to you.
[Max hands back his microphone set]
Max Clifford: That's it, finished. Thanks very much.
[he walks off]
Louis Theroux: [voiceover] I'd felt all along Max had been stage managing our encounter, creating his own version of reality for our cameras. And what angered him was, for once, I'd got a glimpse behind the scenes. The curious thing was that even caught out, he wouldn't come clean. And I wasn't sure he ever would.