LONDON, April 5 (UPI) -- Veteran British TV talk host Michael Parkinson said being called "a nut" by Hollywood actress Meg Ryan was "a compliment."
Ryan, 44, has defended a notorious 2003 appearance on Parkinson's show to Marie Claire magazine, comparing the host to "a disapproving father" and adding, "I don't know what he is to you guys, but he's a nut!"
When told about Ryan's comments in the magazine, Parkinson, 71, told the Mirror: "I'm delighted -- to be called a nut by her is a compliment.
"I still send her Christmas cards, of course," he joked. "Actually, we're secret friends. She fancies me, she told me that."
Parkinson has described the Ryan interview as his "most difficult TV moment." The atmosphere grew ugly when he asked Ryan why she decided to quit making romantic comedies and appear nude in the erotic thriller, "In the Cut."
She refused to answer some questions and gave monosyllabic answers to others, the Mirror said. When the exasperated host asked Ryan what she would do in his shoes, she said: "Close the interview."