Veteran film critic Barry Norman has relived some of his worst interviews in a new book and among them is a row with Mel Gibson over height and a face-off with John Wayne about the Vietnam War.

In what is not a tall story, Norman recalled how Gibson (5' 9¾" according to IMDB), debated with the 6ft plus Norman over who was the taller.

Writing in The Radio Times Norman says, "There was the occasion at a private dinner in Hollywood when Mel Gibson insisted he was as tall as I was. I disagreed politely on the grounds that I was just over 6ft and he most certainly wasn't.

"But then he grew quite angry about it, until some diplomatic soul suggested we should settle the argument by standing back to back. This we did, and I could feel him going up on tiptoe behind me so that the top of his head would reach the same level as mine, whereupon the diplomatic soul pronounced us of equal height and Gibson said: 'See? I told you so'.

"I just looked down at him and said: 'OK, Mel, if you're happy, I'm happy', but God knows what all that was about."

Norman, who hosted the BBC's film show for decades, tells the story in See You In The Morning, a new memoir which is published later this month.

In the new book, he also recalls less than pleasant meetings with Robert De Niro and John Wayne.

Norman and De Niro stood "nose to nose snarling at each other" after he asked the Goodfellas star a question that he did not like. Wayne called him "a goddamn pinko liberal" and "lurched out of his chair with the obvious intention of thumping me" after the pair argued about the Vietnam War.