Louis Theroux answers the questions we all want to know about 4 years ago

Louis Theroux answers the questions we all want to know about

Brilliant insight into Louis Theroux's work.  We've got another documentary this Sunday.

With his Dark States trilogy earning great reviews, we don't have to wait long until Louis Theroux's next feature because he's back on our TV screens this Sunday in Louis Theroux: Talking To Anorexia.


In the documentary, Theroux will embed himself in two of London’s biggest adult eating-disorder treatment facilities: St Ann’s Hospital and Vincent Square Clinic. While visiting these clinics, the journalist will meet with women of all ages and at various stages of their illness.

Ahead of this new feature, the first trailer has been released but to mark the end of his Dark States trilogy, Theroux also answered questions from the public and it's a fascinating insight into how he manages to craft such wonderful documentaries.

Here's the trailer along with....


Louis Theroux on:

Maintaining the balance between being an interviewer and a friend to the people in his documentaries.

"I'm not a friend, in the strict sense to the people I interview. I'm there as a journalist and I'm there to make a programme and they understand that. Clearly, emotions come into it and I attempt to be friendly and get to know the people, but I think there's an understanding of what the nature of the transaction is. I don't think they expect me to pop round for tea, months or years afterward. I do email some of the people that I've gotten to know over the years because I like to know what's going on with them. They're not turning up though and saying 'Hey, can I stay with you. Let's hang out'"


Tips for aspiring documentarians and what makes a great documentary.

"I think what has served me well and I do think it's good advice for a journalist, is the idea that you choose subjects in which there's some element of ethical grayness - an element of moral difficulty. Early on, I basically used to look for people who were doing something deeply questionable. The earlier segments I did on TV were about religious cults that felt the world was ending, members of the Ku Klux Klan and very out there gun enthusiasts - gun nuts. There's something about being out of your element, forced into conflict and responding to it. It creates conflict and I respond to journalism and TV that has a sense of conflict. There's nothing more boring than watching TV with people that agree with each other.

Staying composed in the face of such harrowing scenes.

"I guess I'm a fairly self-composed person. I do think that you have to remember that I'm there to do a job and documenting extremes of life is part of the job. You know, as awful as it is, there's a professional urge to document and to capture things on film. People often ask ' why do you not intervene more?' or 'do you not feel an urge to shout and lose your temper?' and the truth is, not really. As long as it's adults in their right minds, doing whatever they're doing, and they're not attacking someone else, I let them get on with it and I film it."


A preference between making darker shows like Dark States, or lighter stuff like Louis' Weird Weekends.

I've definitely evolved, and we as a production have evolved from doing the lighter stories. I'm still up for having fun in a programme. I enjoy those shows, the UFO one still makes me laugh! At the same time, when we start going the road of doing one of those lighter shows now, usually not always, we abandon it because it feels like we ask ourselves 'Is there enough there?' Can we get our teeth into this? Is there 60 minutes of revelation that we can achieve?'"

Aside from revealing the worst situation that he has found himself in while making a documentary, the Twitter Q&A also offered some interesting pieces of information like his opinion on Archie (the baby that's born addicted to drugs), Theroux's views on the sex industry and his preferred superpower.

Take a look.

His preferred superpower.


Louis Theroux's view on the world's greatest biscuit.

Archie's future.

The idea that his questions may land his interviewees in danger.

His views on the sex industry.

What Theroux might be doing if he wasn't a journalist.