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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 20, Episode 19 - Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James Blunt

Patrick Stewart confirms Logan will be his last X-Men movie, Ian McKellen admits once giving Patrick duff career advice, Hugh Jackman says he won't miss Wolverine and James Blunt performs live in the studio.

Further details

Patrick Stewart, talking about the new movie X-Men movie Logan, and asked about Hugh Jackman leaving the franchise, says, "Last week we were at a screening in Berlin sitting next to each other and when it got to the very emotional ending and I noticed Hugh wipe away a tear, then I did the same and during the credits he held my hand and I was done, I was weeping and sobbing.

"While the credits were rolling I realised that if it was the end, there was no more perfect and beautiful way to say, 'au revoir, goodbye, adios.'" Putting his hand on Hugh's shoulder, he says, "So I think it is the end for me too. Why would I want to have another go of it after what we have done in this movie?"

Hugh, asked if he will miss being Wolverine if the character is re-cast, says, "I think I will be fine'" Adding jokingly, "But if I wake up one day and I find out Daniel Day-Lewis is playing the part and he wins an Oscar I'm going to be a little upset!"

Asked about the extreme exercise and diet regime he endures for a shirt-off Wolverine scene, Hugh says, "It's all about hydration and then dehydration to lose 10lbs in fluids. It's kind of not fun and you feel really bad, but the results are good." Adding, "Do not try it at home!"

Patrick, talking about his own regime for losing 20lbs for the role as Professor X, says, "I did it over four months and just cut down on portion size. I wanted to look emaciated and if you have to share the screen with Hugh you have to grab all the attention you can!" Asked how he maintains his remarkable physique with no exercise, Patrick adds, "I tried the gym once, it's not for me because it hurts! I just think clean thoughts!"

Hugh, talking about being naked on set, says, "I refused to wear the little green modesty pouch as it was too awkward and embarrassing, though I was flattered that they thought me not wearing it might be such an issue!"

Patrick adds, "Towards the end of filming on the first movie there was an unexpected and unannounced naked appearance by Hugh. He streaked through the set and we all thought, 'Slow that man down, we need another look!"

Following the theme, Patrick reveals there is a little bit more of his own manhood that he originally thought, "One night with my wife, as you do, we were talking about stuff and I mentioned my circumcision and she said, 'You're not circumcised.' I said, 'What do you mean? That's ridiculous, I should know. All my life my mother has told me it was fashionable at the time.'

"I happened to be seeing my doctor the next day for a check up so while he was 'down there' I said, 'By the way, my wife and I have had a little disagreement, I am circumcised aren't I?' He took a closer look and said, 'Not! I am Jewish and definitely know the difference!'" Realising how much he has revealed, a rather embarrassed Patrick says, "Oh no, my grandchildren will be watching this!"

Reminiscing about Hugh joining the original X-Men cast 17 years ago, Patrick says, "We had already started filming and we didn't have a Wolverine. All the other X-men were sitting around chatting and this young, charming, smiling Australian guy turns up for a screen test. We all thought he was great but 30 minutes later he came over and said, 'Well, you guys are never going to see me again!'" Hugh interjects, "The test went badly and I was never more sure that I didn't have a part."

Patrick, talking about his good friend and fellow X-Men star, Ian McKellen, says, "In the very early days of our careers I was intimidated by him and didn't get to know him. But working on X-Men meant having adjoining trailers and we would sit and drink tea - or something else occasionally - between scenes and that was the start of our friendship. One of the nicest things Ian has said about me is, 'At last I feel like I have a brother.'"

Ian McKellen, wearing a combo of school tie, anti-bullying shoelaces and his old Magneto coat, joins Graham for a chat, much to Hugh's and Patrick's surprise and delight.

Asked why he is not in the latest X-Men movie, Ian jokes, "When you get to my age you want to leave aside those tired old franchises and move on to something fresh!" Adding, "I simply don't know why I'm not in it." Pleading flirtatiously with Hugh, he says, "Could you not do another one with just me?"

Reminded by Hugh that he had once given him some sage advice about acting on the first X-Men film, Ian teases, "That's because I was in love with you."

Revealing that his physique wasn't quite as toned as Hugh's for his appearances in X-Men, Ian says, "Hugh has an amazing body and it was a privilege to be so close to him! I on the other hand just put on a sculpted suit. I've still got it at home and wear it on some occasions!"

Revealing he once gave Patrick some duff career advice, Ian says, "He told me he'd been asked to sign up for seven years to Star Trek and I said, 'Don't do it, you are a serious actor and you have a wonderful career in London. It's where you belong and stay with the audience you know.' He paid no attention to me whatsoever and it changed his life. I am sorry I gave the wrong advice and I am glad you didn't take it." Adding, "I still haven't seen it. I'm saving it up for my retirement."

Asked about performing the marriage ceremony for Patrick and his wife, Ian say, "I applied to become a minister in the Universal Life Church which has no religion and just asks you to declare that you exist. It said I was qualified but it might just be a scam and they are not married at all." Patrick remains tight lipped as to whether he and his wife subsequently had a 'proper' wedding.

James Blunt performs Love Me Better live in the studio, before joining Graham for a chat. Joking about collaborating with Ed Sheeran and others for his new album, which he describes, as "Exciting and slightly different for me," he says, "If I didn't co-write I would just repeat the same four cords!"

Asked about the alleged recent incident involving Princess Beatrice in which Ed was injured by a ceremonial sword, James jokes, "If he said his face got cut while she was 'knighting' me then dashed to A&E before returning to the party, then he is a liar! For a start, she is a princess and would be rehearsed and practiced in these matters and given the NHS waiting lists it would have been impossible to get to hospital and back so quickly!"

Graham, his guests and his audience sing Happy Birthday to James.

Broadcast details

Friday 24th February 2017
60 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
James Blunt Guest
Patrick Stewart Guest
Hugh Jackman Guest
Ian McKellen 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


Patrick Stewart on not being circumcised

Patrick Stewart on how he thought he was circumcised and why he got his doctor to check.

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Ian McKellen talks the Oscars

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Why Ian McKellen isn't in X-Men

Ian McKellen explains why he's not in the latest X-Men film.

Featuring: Graham Norton, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen.

James Blunt's best Twitter comebacks

Graham looks at some of James Blunt's best responses to online trolls.

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