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The Graham Norton Show

BBC One and BBC Two chat show hosted by Graham Norton. 433 episodes (28 series), 2007 - 2021. Stars Graham Norton.

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Series 16, Episode 7 - Dame Shirley Bassey, David Walliams, Catherine Tate, Richard Ayoade, Annie Lennox

David Walliams serenades Dame Shirley Bassey, Catherine Tate says singing is hard, Richard Ayoade talks about working in the US and Annie Lennox performs live in the studio.

Further details

Dame Shirley Bassey, talking about her new album Hello Like Before, says "I chose all the songs I loved but wasn't allowed to do because the record company would always say, 'That's not you, that's not you.' Finally they gave me carte blanche."

On her upcoming performance of Goldfinger on Strictly, and asked whether the dancers are annoying while she is singing, she says, "The first time it was very disturbing. It was quite off-putting and I kept saying to myself, 'Don't look at them!"

Asked why the lyrics to the Bond themes seem to make little sense, Shirley says, "I don't know why. I just listen to the music and it's good enough. I just interpret it."

Reminded by David Walliams, who reveals himself as a huge fan of her and her work, that she was directed to sing Diamonds are Forever as though it was about a delicate part of the male anatomy, a slightly embarrassed Shirley says, "I can't talk about that," adding, "I didn't sing it like that. I like to think it was about a diamond!"

Flirting with, and talking about David, she says, "I love him, but he is married. We've been in love forever but then he got married. It was very cruel." Flirting back, David says, "I didn't know you were available," to which Shirley responds rather cryptically, "When you kissed me, you didn't know I was available? Is your wife here?" David, jokingly responds, "No, she's actually not here, so..."

David then serenades Shirley with a rendition of Moonraker.

Talking about his best-selling children's books, he says, "It's been great, they've really taken off. I get thanked by parents which is a special thing."

Recalling some correspondence he received from a young fan, he adds, "The letter read, 'I'm writing to you because you are my second favourite author. My favourite is J K Rowling but my teacher said she is going to be too busy to reply so I thought I would write to you instead.'"

Revealing that the baby book he penned for Simon Cowell, Baby Eric, was part of his "Love-hate relationship" with the X Factor judge, David says: "It's very hard to know what to get a billionaire who has everything he wants in life, so I wrote a book especially for him and Lauren."

Catherine Tate, talking about her new movie Nativity 3, says, "The whole thing is improvised, there's a watertight storyline but no script, which I thought would be quite a challenge but I don't mind a bit of improvising, until one day they handed me a piece of paper and said, 'Here's the song you are singing.' I was like, 'I beg your pardon?' It was a bit of shock but I loved it. I was very enthusiastic!"

On starring in the musical Assassins, she says, "I've never sung on a stage before so I thought it would be a good idea to start with Sondheim because I heard that he writes for actors and it's not a glitzy Broadway kind of thing... but it's quite difficult! I am holding on to the idea that Sondheim doesn't like a polished sound. So he'll love me!"

Richard Ayoade, talking about the ill-fated pilot of an American version of The IT Crowd, says: "I was the only one [of the original British cast] dumb enough to do it. It was deeply weird. It was a bit like a play where everyone else had left. It was very odd. I understand they are trying again and now I'm out there's a chance it will succeed. It was a strange experience."

Annie Lennox performs God Bless The Child live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat about her new album. Joking about her upcoming 60th birthday she says, "It's tough but at least I've made it through the decades."

Broadcast details

Friday 7th November 2014
50 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Shirley Bassey (as Dame Shirley Bassey) Guest
Annie Lennox Guest
Catherine Tate Guest
David Walliams Guest
Richard Ayoade 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

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