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

The Graham Norton Show

BBC One and BBC Two chat show hosted by Graham Norton. 405 episodes (26 series), 2007 - 2020. Stars Graham Norton.

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Series 18, Episode 1 - Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Bill Bailey, The Weeknd

Matt Damon talks about his relationship with Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain says Embarrassing Bodies is shocking, Bill Bailey recounts a story about a goose and The Weeknd performs live in the studio.

Further details

In the first show of his new series, Graham welcomes Oscar winning actor Matt Damon, Hollywood star Jessica Chastain, comedian Bill Bailey and Canadian singer songwriter, The Weeknd.

Matt, arriving straight from the premiere of his and Jessica's new movie The Martian, and talking about acting alone for the majority of the film, says, "It was a challenge although I did have to discuss everything with Ridley (Scott). That was the reason to do it and I've never done anything like it before."

Talking about the upcoming Bourne movie he is currently shooting, and getting in shape for the role, he says, "Now I am 45 it is much, much harder. I was 30 when I made the first film and this is a whole different thing. The fight scenes are more like dancing and I am the weakest dance partner."

Asked about his long-term friendship with Ben Affleck he says, "We were at school together and would go for 'business lunches' in the cafeteria, we'd get our lunch but we didn't have much to talk about! We then started travelling to New York together for auditions and we got ourselves an agent. It was odd that we both wanted to do something similar." Adding, "We still talk about everything. This is a tough racket and it's tough to succeed in it, so you want success for your friends too."

Talking about winning an Oscar with Ben Affleck at such a young age for Good Will Hunting, he says, "It took a long time to process. Things happened so fast then yet we had been hanging around Hollywood for a long time and the film took five years to make." Adding, "I'm glad we won it when we did. Can you imagine what it would be like to chase it and not get it until you were in your 80s or 90s with all your life behind you only to realise it was a waste of time - if it's a hole you have, that award won't fill it."

Recalling that when asked by his mother at the age of 16 what it was he really wanted, he quoted a line from his favourite movie The Natural, and said, 'All I want is to walk down the street some day and have people say there goes Matt Damon, the best that ever was.' And she said, 'That is the most disgusting, self-involved thing I have ever heard come out of your mouth.'"

Asked about being recognised, Matt recalls an incident when he thought he was encountering some fans, he says, "I was in a London park with just my wife and daughter. We were alone in the park when a young Spanish couple came along, saw me, had an exchange and then pulled out a camera. I said to my wife, 'Here we go.' It was only after I put my arm around the woman to pose for a picture and the husband gave me an odd look that I realised they had no idea who I was and just wanted a photographer to take their picture!" Adding ironically, "I was so glad my wife was there to witness that!"

Jessica reveals that she is a fan of British TV, "I was filming here in the spring and stumbled across Embarrassing Bodies. I watched one episode that was about penises and there were close ups of ones with problems. I was absolutely shocked. I couldn't believe these people actually decided to go on the show and there were things I couldn't even have imagined."

Asked if her family has now accepted that she is a Hollywood actress with a number of movies under her belt, she says, "Yes, sort of. For a long time I was making movies that then weren't coming out for some odd reason, which is why in 2011 I had seven movies come out at once. They just kept getting delayed. My mom would show off to her friends that her daughter was working with Al Pacino or playing Brad Pitt's wife in a movie and then years would go by. All her friends thought she was making it up and I was doing some terrible things in LA."

Talking about learning to fight properly by training for four months with the Israeli Defence Force, Jessica gives Graham a demonstration of her skills by flooring him when he brandishes a banana.

Matt and Jessica give Graham a special NASA boarding pass that will see his name taken to Mars.

Bill, revealing that he was almost arrested at gunpoint outside Buckingham Palace, says, "We were driving up The Mall at two in the morning and there was a goose in the road flapping. We stopped and my wife insisted we rescue it so we put a blanket over it and just as I was putting it in the boot of the car a pistol was put to my head and a royal protection officer said, 'What's going on here.' I suffer from asthma and at that exact point started to have an attack and struggled to explain it was just a goose. Finally the bird peeked out of the blanket and stared down the barrel of the gun and we all just stood there. Finally the officer said into his jacket microphone, 'Stand down, it's just a goose.' It makes you wonder whether there was a sniper trained on me!"

The Weeknd performs Can't Feel My Face live in the studio.

And finally, Graham pulls the lever on more foolhardy audience members brave enough to sit in the Red Chair.


Peter Capaldi was originally billed to appear in this programme.

This episode was dedicated to Jackie Collins, 1937 - 2015.

Broadcast details

Friday 25th September 2015
50 minutes


    Cast & crew

    Regular cast
    Graham Norton Host / Presenter
    Guest cast
    Bill Bailey Guest
    Matt Damon Guest
    Jessica Chastain Guest
    Marion Cotillard Guest
    Abel Tesfaye (as The Weeknd) Guest
    Writing team
    Rob Colley Writer
    Dan Gaster Writer
    Production team
    Steve Smith Director
    Jon Magnusson Series Producer
    Rina Dayalji Producer
    Pete Snell Producer
    Vicky Taylor Producer
    Graham Stuart Executive Producer
    Perry Widdowson Editor
    Chris Webster Production Designer
    Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis) Composer


    Matt Damon on his success

    Matt Damon talks about the night he won an Oscar and what winning it meant to him.

    Featuring: Graham Norton, Bill Bailey, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain.

    Jason Bourne fight scenes

    Matt Damon, Graham and Bill Bailey discuss ideas for a fight scene involving stationery.

    Featuring: Graham Norton, Bill Bailey, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain.

    Matt Damon's ponytail

    Graham asks Matt about his recent ponytail and shows him some tweets from its fans.

    Featuring: Graham Norton, Bill Bailey, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain.


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