The Graham Norton Show. Graham Norton. Credit: So Television, Christopher Baines
The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show

  • TV chat show
  • BBC One / BBC Two
  • 2007 - 2024
  • 494 episodes (31 series)

Comic chat show presented by Graham Norton. The biggest names in showbiz join the host on his sofa.

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Series 16, Episode 4 - Robert Duvall, Robert Downey Jr, Stephen Fry, U2

Robert Duvall says he's not slowing down after his 88th movie; Robert Downey Jr talks about his wife making him behave; Stephen Fry says it's a biological miracle he is still alive; and Bono reveals why he's never without his shades.

Preview clips

Further details

Robert Duvall, talking about his new movie, The Judge, which his co-star Robert Downey Jr describes as "Uplifting," reveals he was originally reluctant to take the role, "There was a lot to conquer, the judge is a very complex guy, but once I decided, I jumped right in."

Talking about completing his 88th film, which he describes as "Better than a lot of mine," and asked if there is a hint of slowing down or taking a break, he says, "No. There will be a big break eventually, but not now."

Revealing The Godfather was a lot of fun to work on, he says, "We had great times. James Caan was very funny, he would tell a joke and it would take (Marlon) Brando a few seconds to catch on."

Talking more about working with Marlon Brando he says, "He couldn't learn his lines, and during the filming of Apocalypse Now he leaned back in his chair to read his lines in the tree above him and we had taken away the words and replaced it with a wedding invitation."

On sharing an apartment with Dustin Hoffman in his youth, he says, "We had great parties and some terrific times, I don't see those guys often but when we do we pick up straight where we left off," and reveals, "Dustin would entertain quite a few women there. Once he had a naked young girl standing on the table while he pretended to be an artist!"

Robert Downey Jr, talking about his wife (Susan Downey), who produced The Judge, says of 'Team Downey', "She's fantastic, we're getting along very well, but she was strict with me. I guess she didn't want me to mess up a good time for her. I usually don't like to perform anything that is written down in the script and she said, 'Please don't get all creative and re-write every scene or I will knock you out in front of 75 people!'"

Refusing to be drawn on the possibility of Iron Man 4, Robert says "There is an answer which I am not prepared to give. Normally I would be bursting at the seams wanting to speak." Deflecting further questions about Iron Man, he says, "There will be Pinocchio, with me playing both Giuseppe and Pinocchio, and a Sherlock 3."

Referring to the imminent birth of his daughter, which he describes as "Another 'Team Downey Production'" he jokes, "I had far less involvement in the baby than in the movie - I was only involved for about seven minutes!"

Stephen Fry talking about the controversial third installment of his autobiography, says, "It seems an act of absurd vanity. There are perfectly serviceable one-volume biographies of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and even Katie Price, but for some reason I've managed to stretch mine out."

Asked about the field day the tabloid press had with the book, he says, "Fortunately I'm immune from it as I don't read newspapers." Referring to the book's revelations, he says, "I am not happy or proud and it's a biological miracle that I am still alive." Revealing he only remembers what happened to him because he kept a diary, he says, "The things I did were astonishing, I am amazed. It is strange and so fascinating."

U2 perform The Miracle of (Joey Ramone) live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.

Talking about the furore the release of their album of iTunes caused, Bono says "We worked very hard on the songs and the biggest insecurity is that no one will hear them. It's tricky these days to be heard. People may have wanted to call time on us as we have been around for a while. We wanted to do something fresh but it seems some people don't believe in Father Christmas!" adding, "All those people who were uninterested in U2 are now mad at U2. As far as we are concerned, it's an improvement!"

Larry Mullen Jr adds "We knew it would be controversial, but not that controversial."

Asked if after four decades together, they have ever come close to splitting, Adam Clayton says "I don't think ever. It's a relationship where you get very used to each other, used to looking out for each other and being looked out for and that's about as good as it gets. You don't expect to find that in a band and you don't expect it to last more than 40 years, but it has."

Larry adds "It would be impossible to be this close without it having its moments. It has moved from friendship to brotherhood and it moves back and forth between those two things. It can be hard and brutal and we can't get away with much with each other." Bono adds "All men want to be their own person, but I have a sense that we would just not be as good without each other."

Bono, asked about his trademark sunglasses and whether he ever takes them off, reveals, "This is a good place to explain to people that I've had Glaucoma for the last 20 years. I have good treatments and I am going to be fine." Jokingly adding, you're not going to get this out of your head now and you will be saying, 'Ah, poor old blind Bono'."

Broadcast details

Friday 17th October 2014
50 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Tuesday 21st October 2014 12:20am BBC1
Tuesday 21st October 2014 12:50am BBC1 Wales

Cast & crew

Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Stephen Fry Guest
Robert Downey Jr. Guest
Robert Duvall Guest
Bono (as U2) Guest
David Evans (as U2) Guest
Adam Clayton (as U2) Guest
Larry Mullen, Jr (as U2) Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Steve Smith Director
Jon Magnusson Series Producer
Rina Dayalji Producer
Pete Snell Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer
Perry Widdowson Editor
Chris Webster Production Designer
Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis) Composer


Baby names discussion

Robert Downey Jr talks about working with his wife as a producer and possible names for his new baby.

Featuring: Graham Norton, Stephen Fry, Robert Downey Jr. & Robert Duvall.

Robert Duvall talks about mooning with Marlon Brando

Robert Duvall tells an anecdote about stripping off and mooning with Marlon Brando when they worked together on The Godfather.

Featuring: Graham Norton, Stephen Fry, Robert Downey Jr. & Robert Duvall.

U2 try on some funny glasses

Graham shares some early publicity photos of U2 and offers some glasses for them to try on.

Featuring: Graham Norton, U2, U2, U2 & U2.

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