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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 22, Episode 8 - Mel Gibson, Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow, Shirley Ballas, Kesha

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg talk about their kids' blossoming romance, John Lithgow says he was intimidated by Churchill, Mel Gibson talks about being welcomed back into the Hollywood fold, Mark Wahlberg chats about hamburgers, Shirley Ballas won't be drawn on who might win Strictly, and Kesha performs live in the studio.

Further details

Will Ferrell, talking about Daddy's Home 2, in which he stars with Mel Gibson, John Lithgow and Mark Wahlberg, says "My kids were on set for a whole week and I had to do a scene with John where I kissed him on the lips. We had to do 30 takes, we just kept kissing and my kids were slack jawed!" Mark interjects, "It was very funny. I could tell Will was slightly uncomfortable so I just kept encouraging them to kiss more. It made me very happy!"

Asked if there is a burgeoning romance between Will's son and Mark's daughter, Will says, "My eldest son told me she had requested that they become Instagram friends." Mark interjects, "I guess it is inevitable that she will at some point have a dating life and if there were ever two people that would spawn a child that I would think polite, kind, thoughtful and respectful, and worthy enough of my child's time, it would be Will and his lovely wife, they are spectacular people." Adding jokingly, "So I decided that if anything goes wrong I will do nothing to the kid but I will crack open Will's head!"

Talking about his honorary doctorate from the University of Southern California and the inspirational speech he gave, he says, "They say it's honorary but I think it is for real! I hadn't been put in that position before - normally I just make fun of things, that's easy but you then have to be earnest and that was a difficult task." Jokingly adding, "I told them, 'Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and reach for the stars,' which I'd read on the back of a cereal box!

"Actually, I said something about childhood and not expecting stuff in life. Then at the end I thought I would inspire them by singing a Whitney Houston song. I chose I Will Always Love You from The Bodyguard and thought, 'I can either sing a line or two or torture them all with the whole song.' I chose the latter!"

Mark, talking about his kids, says, "They didn't come to the premiere. I invited them, then begged, then tried to bribe them with money but they just couldn't be bothered!"

Mel, congratulated on the Oscar wins for Hacksaw Ridge, and asked about being accepted back by Hollywood after his much-publicised issues, says, "I am surprised as I have been digging a ditch for the past 10 years. Quite frankly, it's been a lot of hard work personally and professionally, but the work goes on as I think it does for most of us."

Asked if he ever considered giving up public life, he says, "No, you've chosen a career and there is a calling, particularly in directing and you just have to get back up there and express yourself through storytelling. That never went away. During those years I was just writing and conceiving stories."

Talking about his friends such as Jodie Foster, Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg that remained loyal to him through dark times, he says, "They are just great people. I love them dearly and they know me."

Talking about the possibility of another Lethal Weapon movie, he says, "It's number five or six, I don't know, I've lost count. I don't know if it will happen but I've met Danny [Glover] and we started incubating the idea so it may come to pass, we're not sure but we are swapping ideas." Adding jokingly, "We could call it Flaccid Weapon or Lethal Hemorrhoids!"

Asked about accents, Mel says, "I had to learn Australian as a young boy because I came from the US. I did voice exercises and listened to Barry Humphries!"

Talking about his Scottish accent for Braveheart, he says, "It was hard, but I was surrounded by people who needed subtitles so it eventually sank in. Sean Connery helped too - I had dinner with him and it was his pronunciation of 'Goulash' that sealed it for me. Asked if it is true he turned down the chance to play Bond, he says, "I was asked in my 20s but I just didn't want to do it."

Mark talking about Wahlburgers, his restaurant chain, reveals, "I would never have thought to put my name on a restaurant but my brother is a talented chef and I have such faith in him and his ability. This is a huge business opportunity for me and my whole family - we've had great success and it's brought us closer together."

John, talking about his Emmy-winning portrayal of Churchill in The Crown, says, "I was the only American in the cast and was completely surrounded by fantastic British actors and I was intimidated by playing such an iconic person. I thought I would have a target on my back and a contract out on me from every major actor in London, but in fact they were incredibly welcoming and made me feel genuinely more confident. Asked if he will be back in the role in flashbacks, he says, "No, and it's fine with me. They gave me a fantastic exit, and it wasn't a death scene. Churchill's end is extremely moving. A good actor knows a good exit!"

Talking about his upcoming film Pitch Perfect 3, in which he plays an Australian character alongside that of Rebel Wilson, he says, "The accent wasn't that hard but Rebel became my voice coach and introduced me to convicted criminal Mark 'Chopper' Read through videos. My character is such a scoundrel and con man so she found the perfect model for me."

Continuing the theme, Mark does a remarkable impression of Brenda Blethyn's cockney character from Secrets and Lies.

Shirley Ballas joins Graham and his other guests for a chat. Asked if she gets nervous ahead of Strictly, she says, "I do. I get butterflies because I have never done TV before. Going from being a dance teacher to suddenly being the head judge was a little overwhelming, but it's amazing and thrilling."

Talking about her new-found fame, she says, "No one sees me because everyone is glued to their cellphones. I think three, maybe four people have recognised me and I'm okay with that."

Asked if she thinks Debbie McGee is going to win, she diplomatically says, "It's an unpredictable year. Let's wait and see - the audience is unpredictable. I love them all."

Shirley and Will take to the dancefloor to demonstrate a Rumba.

Kesha performs Learn To Let Go, before joining Graham for a chat.

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

Broadcast details

Friday 24th November 2017
45 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Mark Wahlberg Guest
Kesha Sebert (as Ke$ha) Guest
Will Ferrell Guest
Mel Gibson Guest
John Lithgow Guest
Shirley Ballas 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

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