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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 20, Episode 11 - Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Felicity Jones, Dawn French, Michael Parkinson, Jack Savoretti

Nicole Kidman says she was astounded at the truth behind her new movie and Dev Patel reveals he was desperate to star in it. Felicity Jones talks about the burden of keeping Star Wars secret, Dawn French admits that lovemaking on screen is weird, Sir Michael Parkinson says Muhammad Ali transcended normal celebrity and Jack Savoretti thanks Graham for his chart hitting success.

Preview clips

Further details

Nicole Kidman talking about her new film Lion, which tells the true story of five year-old Saroo (Dev Patel) who gets lost on a train that takes him thousands of miles across India, says, "I wasn't aware of the story and I was astounded that it was true." Nicole, who plays Saroo's adoptive mother Sue Brierley, added, "What happens you just can't believe."

Asked about playing a real-life person, she says, "I personally would not have wanted Sue sitting there while I was doing every scene because I felt a bit shy and intimidated. But she was good to be around when we wrapped because she is very maternal and it was wonderful to exist in that place. I'm a mum and that maternal force is a beautiful thing." Adding, "The film has some hard truths but is brave and life affirming."

Talking about her Hawaiian name Hokulani given to her by her parents, she reveals, "My husband [Keith Urban] has the name tattooed over his heart."

Asked if she had been pleased to be written into Dawn French's last novel, Nicole says, "I am delighted to be in anything Dawn writes." Asked if she had approved it in advance, she says. "No, not at all, I trust her." Dawn interjects, "I did tell the publisher the little white lie that Nicole was fine with it!"

Dev Patel, talking about getting the role in Lion, says, "I read a news article and was desperate to be in it. I ended up knocking on the writer's door. He was there with the director and they had a board with all these post-its with the plot and they were like, 'You can't look at that, it is classified information.' We had tea and it was all rather awkward and then they sent me packing. I was like, 'What about the role?' and they said, 'You can audition when we are done.' Luckily it ended happily. The film is so beautiful and we are all so proud of it."

Asked about beefing up for the role, says, "They said I looked like a celery stick and needed to put on some weight. So I had to go to the gym, which is a foreign thing for me to do - and I am very vocal as I'm not very good at pushing iron. I had to do that for eight months. But then I did get to travel around India, which became a nourishing process."

Felicity Jones, talking about her new film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and asked if fans will like it, says, "There are lots of references to old characters and other movies that people get very excited about. It is a joyous thing being in the cinema with hard core fans."

Asked if she found it hard to keep the plot secret, she says, "It was quite a burden for two years and then when the whole cast watched the film a couple of weeks ago there was a feeling of collective relief that at some point we would actually be able to talk about it. My friends would ask me what was happening in the film and I really wanted to tell them but had to keep my mouth shut!"

Talking about playing Jane, Stephen Hawking's ex-wife, in The Theory of Everything, Felicity says, "When you are performing as a real person you sort of go through a trial period. Meeting her felt much harder than any audition because you feel you need the nod of approval from the person you are playing. They are giving their lives up for everyone to see so you have a responsibility to look after their story."

Asked if she hung out with Stephen, she says, "He has an incredible sense of humour. I remember he came to set and we were very nervous and tried to do our very best version of the take and when the director called 'cut' we all waited anxiously to know what he would think and he wrote down, 'Would Felicity please be able to give me a kiss?' He doesn't take himself seriously."

Dawn, talking about the impersonations she and Jennifer Saunders have done of celebrities, and asked if she is nervous to meet them, says, "I hope we were never cruel about anybody - we might have been a bit cheeky. Most people have liked it but some have run away from us. I met Madonna recently for the first time ever and she gave me absolutely no feedback whatsoever!"

Talking about her new drama series Delicious, she says, "I have some sensual love-making scenes which are really weird to do on film. I'm quite new to that, but I quite liked it I have to say! It is Iain Glen for heavens sake and you get to see a lot of him which is very nice."

Michael Parkinson joins Graham for a chat. Asked if he would like to be the one asking the questions, he says, "I'm glad I am out of it. I had my time and I enjoyed it immensely and I wouldn't swap it for anything."

Reminding Dawn that she appeared on his show many times, he jokes, "Attractive male guests used to refuse to come on if they knew Dawn was on the show! I made the mistake of telling her that Tom Jones' agent had asked that no one throw knickers at Tom and Dawn and Jennifer turned up and covered him in large bloomers." Dawn interjects, "I think we had about 12 pairs on."

Talking about Muhammad Ali, the subject of his new book, Michael says, "He transcended normal celebrity, it was like a Martian arriving from space. He was the most glorious looking man, perfectly built with beautiful hands that didn't belong to a man that was going to batter you to death, but those of someone who played the violin. He was contrary and had medieval views on lots of things but I grew to like him. In the interviews I did with him he went from madness to joy but in the last one it was like an iceberg melting, the spark had gone."

Asked about the famous interview in which Ali was aggressive towards him, Michael says, "I was composed because I didn't know what to do. If someone jocular was doing that it might have been okay but he was 16 and a half stone and he might have meant it. I came off stage and thought, 'What a nightmare show, I never want to do telly again.' But my father came backstage and said, 'What was wrong with thee out there?' I said, 'What could I have done?' he said, 'Well, you should have thumped him!'"

Talking about the interviews that didn't quite go to plan, Michael says, "Being remembered for the screw-ups is part of the joy of fame and the price of the job."

Jack Savoretti performs Only You live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat. Talking about the chart success that followed his first appearance on Graham's show, Jack says, "Being on the show caused a bit of a sensation and we got a top ten record because of you. Now when we perform live the energy of the audience has changed and everyone applauds on the first few notes - that's what a hit record sounds like!"

Broadcast details

Friday 16th December 2016
60 minutes

Cast & crew

Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Dawn French Guest
Dev Patel Guest
Nicole Kidman Guest
Jack Savoretti Guest
Felicity Jones Guest
Michael Parkinson (as Sir Michael Parkinson) Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Christine Rose Writer
Production team
Steve Smith Director
Jon Magnusson Series Producer
Rina Dayalji Producer
Pete Snell Producer
Vicky Taylor Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer
Catherine Strauss Line Producer
Perry Widdowson Editor
Chris Webster Production Designer
Lindsey McLean Costume Designer
Mandy Furlonger Make-up Designer
Chris Rigby Lighting Designer
Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis) Composer
Kerry Hussain Graphics


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