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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 18, Episode 13 - Ralph Fiennes, Tracey Ullman, James Nesbitt, James Bay

Ralph Fiennes talks about Voldemort's wardrobe problems, Tracey Ullman says Judi Dench will kill her when she sees her new show, James Nesbitt reveals he almost turned down his OBE by mistake and James Bay performs live in the studio.

Further details

Ralph Fiennes, talking about 007, and asked if he is now M forever, says, "I'm in one more I think but then it's up to them if they want me back again." Revealing he was a Bond geek, he says, "When I was a teenager I read every book at least three times." Asked if he was disappointed not to be cast as James Bond, he says, "I'm very happy."

Revealing the hand over of the role of M from Judi Dench wasn't an easy one, he says, "We're friends, but when I replaced her she jokingly called me Valerie instead of my character's name Malory. Every time I meet her she says, 'Hello Valerie.'"

Asked about playing Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies, Ralph says, "I avoid roles now that involve prosthetics but I knew the look was working when I walked past the script supervisor's five year old child and when I looked at him he just burst into tears."

Talking about his Voldemort costume, he says, "It was just a lot of flowing silky stuff that I kept tripping over and I had to wear women's tights. The tights would work their way down so the gusset was round my knees and I couldn't walk as elegantly as I would like as Voldemort. I asked the dresser to cut off the tights so for most of Harry Potter under the robes I had a very nice garter belt."

Revealing that fans often mistake him for Liam Neeson, he says, "I have been complimented for my performance in Taken 2 and Liam has been complimented on his English Patient!"

And, talking about a pre-fame celebrity encounter, Ralph says, "I was working at Browns Hotel before going to drama school and I was cleaning a chandelier when a guest asked me what I was using to do the job. I realised it was Jeremy Irons who I really admire and I said something about industrial cleaner and then asked him for his autograph. He said he would leave it at the front desk. When I went to pick it up, he had left a note saying, 'Dear Ralph, keep polishing.' I have met him but I haven't told him that I still have the note somewhere."

Asked if he prepared in anyway for his nude scene in his new film A Bigger Splash, he says, "I work out a little bit but I danced a lot."

Tracey Ullman, talking about her upcoming sketch show on the BBC and the 30 year hiatus since her last appearance on British television, says, "I never got offered a job in this country until now. I'm really flattered to be asked. I love it but people don't know who I am - they think I am Julie Walters!"

Talking more about the show, in which she features as some of our national treasures, Tracey says, "I do Judi Dench and I think she will kill me when she sees it! And I had a lovely time being Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall). It's very affectionate."

Asked if she is an embarrassing parent, she said, "I once took my son shopping for swimming trunks and in the shop I asked what I thought was a handsome sales assistant if they had what we wanted and my son just kept saying, 'Mum, mum, mum.' It turned out to be Kanye West. That was embarrassing!"

James Nesbitt, talking about receiving an OBE in the New Year's Honours List, says, "My dad said, 'About bloody time!' but I am really excited. I got a phone call from a very jolly lady at Buckingham Palace asking if I wanted to decline the honour - apparently I had ticked the wrong box! It will be a nice day out at the Palace for me and my girls."

Asked about the new upcoming series of Cold Feet, James says, "We start in three weeks for a read through and I haven't seen loads of them for 12 years. The scripts look good and they tried to get us to do it for a number of years and they hadn't quite worked it out or sorted out the number of zeros on the cheques! It will be very exciting to do it and I can't wait to see what those characters are like now."

Revealing he too is often mistaken for another actor, James says, "People constantly think I am John Hannah. Right at the beginning of The Hobbit I had dinner with Peter Jackson and one of the heads of Warner Brothers and the guy said, 'I am so excited you are involved. I loved you so much in Sliding Doors.' I thought, 'That's not me' and I still wonder if they thought they had cast John Hannah."

And, on The Missing returning without him, he says, "I'm not in it and it will be really annoying if they find my son and when he asks, 'Where's my dad?' they are going to have to tell him I am missing!"

James Bay performs Best Fake Smile live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.

Broadcast details

Friday 8th January 2016
50 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Ralph Fiennes Guest
Tracey Ullman Guest
James Nesbitt Guest
James Bay Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Production team
Steve Smith Director
Jon Magnusson Series Producer
Rina Dayalji Producer
Pete Snell Producer
Vicky Taylor Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer


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