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The Graham Norton Show

BBC One and BBC Two chat show hosted by Graham Norton. 386 episodes (25 series), 2007 - 2019. Stars Graham Norton.

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Series 22, Episode 19 - Saoirse Ronan, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Rob Beckett, Keala Settle

Saoirse Ronan talks about her third Oscar nomination, Eric McCormack and Debra Messing chat about Will & Grace's reboot, Rob Beckett jokes about his roots and Keala Settle performs live in the studio.

Further details

Saoirse Ronan, talking about her Oscar nomination for Lady Bird, says, "It's great. It's mad that it's done so well. It was a tiny little film that's become such a big commercial hit. It's really nice."

Revealing she didn't get very excited at the nomination news, she says, "I'd actually forgotten that they were coming out - it had gone completely out of my head."

Recalling a trip to the cinema to see the film with her mother, she says. "My mam is very proud of me and I wanted her to see the film as part of a real audience so we went to an afternoon performance in LA. I thought it would be sold out and warned her to keep her head down so we weren't recognised. When we got in there, there were six other people... all on their phones! No one was interested in us at all!"

Asked what the 23-year-old actor did by way of preparation to get into the head of the 17-year-old Lady Bird, Saoirse says, "I watched a lot of Saved By The Bell and Sabrina The Teenage Witch!"

Eric McCormack and Debra Messing joke about the number of Golden Globe nominations Will & Grace received during its original eight-year run. Eric says, "We were nominated 29 times and never won once. We're the biggest losers!" Debra adds, "Nobody has lost more than us!"

Revealing they would not have considered a full-blown new series were it not for the success of the seven-minute pro-Hillary Clinton show they made in 2016, Debra says, "We thought it would be a one-off but with the 7.5 million YouTube views, we thought, 'Wait a second... Maybe.' Without that we would have worried about a full series." Eric adds, "I think we would have been suspicious and cynical. Sean [Hayes] has been calling that YouTube thing a 'proof of concept' and we just knew is still worked and because of that there was a whole different vibe when they came to us."

Asked if, because Trump won the election, they were put off bringing the series back, Debra feigns tears and Eric says, "It was rough. If Hillary had won we could have taken some small credit and we could have come back and been a fun comedy show but now it feels like resistance somehow."

Talking about some of the major celebrities that made cameo appearances in the original series, Debra says, "Madonna didn't have a clue who we were and she could not remember our names so I told her mine was Rachal. She said, 'Really? That is my kabala name,' I said like, 'How about that!' so for the rest of the week she called me Rachal. When she finally realised that wasn't my name she sent me roses with a note written to 'Dear Debra.'" Eric interjects, "The same thing happened to me and she sent flowers and a note saying, 'If my husband would let me, I'd tattoo your name on my arm."

Eric adds, "I grew up with David Furnish so that's how Elton ended up on the show. David called one day to say he was in town so I invited him to dinner and he brought Elton with him. I was trying to be cool but had had just enough wine to ask him to christen our new piano. When he asked what he should play I thought, 'I'm not going to be a schmuck and ask for Rocket Man', so I said, 'I've Seen That Movie Too from Yellow Brick Road' and he looked up at me and said, I don't remember that song!"

And on her trademark red, Debra says: "In America red heads on televisions is equated to be funny. My hair is naturally dark auburn but when I got my first TV show they told me I had to be redder. When I asked why they said it was funnier. So that was that."

Rob Beckett, talking about his background, says: "I didn't realise I was working-class growing up. I thought everyone was the same as us but I do remember being embarrassed that I wanted to be a comedian when everyone was becoming a taxi driver or a plumber." Adding, jokingly, "I actually didn't know there was a Radio 4 until I was asked to appear on it!"

And on his new series All Together Now, he says, "It is so much fun - such a joy to make."

Keala Settle performs the Oscar-nominated This Is Me from The Greatest Showman live in the studio - to a standing ovation - before joining Graham for a chat.

Asked what she will be doing at the Oscars, she says, "I do sing but no other comment. I'll get fired if I tell you anything!"

Asked how she came to be in The Greatest Showman, she says, "It's all Hugh Jackman's fault! I was successfully hiding from the world on Broadway for about 25 years. They were looking for a bearded lady to sing at the reading and I thought it would be a good way to pay the rent. I did it two more times and the last time it ended up being when Fox gave us the green light to do the film. People were clapping and they offered me the role. I didn't want it but Hugh believed in me and made me believe in myself.

Asked if the film has opened new doors for her, she says, "It has... lots of secret things that I can't talk about yet."

Graham surprises Keala with a personal message from Hugh. Appearing in a video he says, "You took this song and you crushed it. It became an anthem for many people around the world and you sing it so well that you got yourself nominated for an Oscar and topped the charts. I have just four words for you. 'It's all your fault!'"

Broadcast details

Date
Friday 9th February 2018
Time
10:35pm
Channel
BBC One
Length
50 minutes

Repeats

    Cast & crew

    Regular cast
    Graham Norton Host / Presenter
    Guest cast
    Saoirse Ronan Guest
    Eric McCormack Guest
    Debra Messing Guest
    Rob Beckett Guest
    Keala Settle Guest
    Writing team
    Rob Colley Writer
    Christine Rose Writer
    Production team
    Steve Smith Director
    Jon Magnusson Series Producer
    Pete Snell Producer
    Vicky Taylor Producer
    Kate Radcliffe Producer
    Graham Stuart Executive Producer
    Perry Widdowson Editor
    Chris Webster Production Designer
    Mandy Furlonger Make-up Designer
    Chris Rigby Lighting Designer
    Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis) Composer
    Paywall

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