Jack Whitehall reveals awkward meeting with Rihanna: She ignored me all night

The stand-up comic said he ‘forgot how to formulate proper sentences’ when meeting the Umbrella singer.
The stand-up comic said he ‘forgot how to formulate proper sentences’ when meeting the Umbrella singer.

Jack Whitehall has revealed that Rihanna once ignored him all night at an event after his nerves caused him to make a verbal blunder.

The comedian said the Barbadian singer had requested to meet him at the British Fashion Awards several years ago, but that he “panicked a little bit” before coming face to face with her and brought up an advertising campaign she had appeared in.

Whitehall told The Jonathan Ross Show: “I met her after I hosted the Fashion Awards and I’d done quite well and they were like ‘Rihanna would like to meet you. Would you like to come and see her at the after party?’

British Fashion Awards 2014 – London
Jack Whitehall arrives at the British Fashion Awards in 2014 (Ian West/PA)

“She had her own cordoned-off area and I was ushered in and I think I panicked a little bit and sort of forgot how to formulate proper sentences.

“I was like, what do I say? What’s my opening gambit?”

Recalling Rihanna’s previous appearance in adverts for Vita Coco coconut water, Whitehall added: “And all I could think of was that she does coconut water adverts. So my opening line was ‘I really like coconut water as well.’

“She ignored me for the rest of the night.”

British Fashion Awards 2014 – London
Rihanna arriving for the 2014 British Fashion Awards (Ian West/PA)

His anecdote came after Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul told his own – and somewhat more successful – story about meeting the Umbrella singer.

Of meeting Rihanna and music star Drake, who are both fans of his, Paul told the programme: “The first time I met Drake I was randomly in this parking garage in Paris and I got out of my car and walked in and Drake screams out my name and I turn around and I’m like ‘Oh there’s Drake’…

“He told me that he got Rihanna in on it, who I am just obsessed with, she’s my crush.

“Rihanna, I had never met before and I was standing outside and this SUV stops and the door opens and Rihanna jumps out and starts running in my direction.

“I turned – ‘Who is she running to?’ There is no-one behind me and she throws her arms around me and gives me this big hug and kisses me on the cheek and says that she loves me.”

The Jonathan Ross Show
(L to R) Aaron Paul, Maya Jama, Jonathan Ross, Jack Whitehall, Iggy Pop and Sam Fender on The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV/PA)

Paul, who reprises his role as Jesse Pinkman in the new Breaking Bad follow-up film El Camino, added: “I’m like ‘Oh my God, I love you too! This is great!’

“She was like ‘I just needed proof of this’ and then she posed for some paparazzi and then posted this picture on Instagram, ‘My life has been made, Pinkman for President!’”

Whitehall and Paul were joined on the chat show by presenter Maya Jama, punk singer Iggy Pop and singer-songwriter Sam Fender.

The Jonathan Ross Show is on Saturday October 19 at 10pm on ITV.