The Graham Norton Show. Graham Norton. Copyright: So Television.

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One and BBC Two chat show hosted by Graham Norton. 408 episodes (27 series), 2007 - 2020. Stars Graham Norton.

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Series 11, Episode 2 - Mark Ruffalo, Nicki Minaj, John Bishop, Rufus Wainwright

Nicki Minaj talks about kissing Madonna; Mark Ruffalo reveals he failed 600 auditions; John Bishop says he couldn't back out of Sport Relief; and Rufus Wainwright performs live in the studio.

Further details

Struggling to be heard above the screams of Nicki Minaj's adoring fans, or 'Barbs' as she calls them, Graham asks if Twitter has made her angry, she says, "No, but a voice in my head told me to delete my Twitter and that's what I did. I had 11 million followers and I hope they will wait for me. I reply all the time and get to know them by name and I have a really personal bond with them... not all 11 million, but at least 10 of them a day." Asked if she will go back, she says, "I don't know yet, I'm thinking about it. I miss my Barbs, please bear with me."

Asked if Madonna has been in touch since Nicki knocked her off the number one album slot, she says, "She has emailed me and said some nice things."

And on that Superbowl kiss, which Nicki describes as "Shocking", she says, "You can't really call it making out. She kissed me but I didn't kiss her. I wasn't expecting it and was shocked like everyone else. I was shaking and thinking, 'Is this really happening and why is she doing this?' It was the strangest thing, except she had very soft lips." Asked by Mark Ruffalo if Madonna is a good kisser, Nicki says, "I guess you could say that, but we didn't hang around in that lip locking thing. It wasn't all drawn out and crazy."

On how she got started in her career, she says, "I don't really remember. I wanted to be an actress first and then I went to school for acting and I always loved music because my mom was singing all the time and I was singing in church. But then I starting thinking singing was a little boring so I started rapping and I really have been doing it for such a long time. People don't realise I have been doing it for so long." And on the different personas she embodies on her album, she says, "I think subconsciously, those weird characters have always been there. But it was on my first album is when I started giving them names."

Nicki tests Graham on his knowledge of her own particular phrases.

Talking about his new superhero movie, Avengers Assemble, Mark Ruffalo says, "It's good, it works, it's fun." Asked if he feels being cast as the angry Hulk is a little out of character from his usual laid-back roles, he says, "I think they wanted it to be as far from angry as they could get without the person actually being asleep and I fit the bill!" Asked if he ever gets angry, Mark says, "Are you kidding me? I have a saying, 'If you're not yelling at your kids, you're not spending enough time with them.'"

And on his career, Mark jokes, "I was like a 30 year over night sensation," admitting he had limited success on the audition front in his early days, "It's been mythologised now, but it started with about 600 auditions without success. Most smart people would have quit when it takes that long." Asked what gave him hope, he says, "I couldn't do anything else and my mum told me that if I tried to quit she would never speak to me again."

Revealing he once appeared on stage stoned because a fellow actor swapped a prop for a real joint, Mark says, "It was terrifying. It was the opening night with all the critics. But I had the best review of my entire career!" Nicki interrupts his anecdote to tell her Barbs, "We don't do drugs."

Talking about his amazing achievement of raising more than £4m for Sport Relief, John Bishop says, "I couldn't back out because there had been so much support and there was a camera crew following me. But, it was probably the most humbling and significant thing I have ever done."

Talking about the stress fracture injury he sustained, he says, "I don't know if there is any permanent damage. I am old so everything hurts, my leg just hurts a bit more that the rest."

Rufus Wainwright joins Graham for a chat before performing Out of the Game live in the studio.

Broadcast details

Friday 20th April 2012
45 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
John Bishop Guest
Mark Ruffalo Guest
Nicki Minaj Guest
Rufus Wainwright Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Steve Smith Director
Jon Magnusson Series Producer
Mike Altman Producer
Pete Snell Producer
Alan Thorpe Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer
Perry Widdowson Editor
Chris Webster Production Designer
Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis) Composer


John Bishop's Sport Relief Ordeal

John Bishop talks about his Sports Relief challenge... and is rude about France in the process.

Featuring: Graham Norton, John Bishop.


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