The Graham Norton Show. Graham Norton. Copyright: So Television
The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show

  • TV chat show
  • BBC One / BBC Two
  • 2007 - 2022
  • 454 episodes (29 series)

Comic chat show presented by Graham Norton. The biggest names in showbiz join the host on his sofa.

  • Due to return for Series 30

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Series 28, Episode 11 - George Clooney, Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Viola Davis, Vanessa Kirby, Daisy May Cooper, Michael Ball, Alfie Boe

George Clooney talks about ageing; Viola Davis pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman; Michael Sheen and David Tennant joke about their on-screen personas; Vanessa Kirby chats about birthing; Daisy May Cooper talks about This Country; and Michael Ball and Alfie Boe perform live in the studio.

Preview clips

Further details

George Clooney joins Graham from his UK home for a chat about his new end-of-times movie The Midnight Sky.

Asked about when he came to the realisation that he might be able to play the gnarly old character, he says, "I was doing an interview the other day and they were saying, 'You used to be in all these movies like Out Of Sight and Oceans 11, and is this now what you want to do with your career?' I was like "No. I don't want to play the old guy, it's called ageing and there is nothing I can do and about it, and if I could go back to 1998 I would!

"As I am directing and casting it, I had Ethan Peck play as my younger self - he's 6'3", great looking and I'm like, 'Screw it, I'm hiring that guy!'"

Talking about lockdown and how he coped, he says, "It is all things that are lousy in that I miss my parents and I miss seeing family and friends. I've got three-year-old twins so I do a lot of changing of diapers, wash dishes and do the laundry all day long. But I do get to put them to bed at night and wake them up every morning. There is something very special about that."

Revealing he has taught his kids some pranks, he says, "They are clearly my wife's children - they are three and speak fluent Italian and they are way ahead. My wife is a genius and they are brilliant kids, and it is my job to dumb them down and put a bit of actor into them, so I teach them horrible things. When I hear the shriek from my wife, I know I have succeeded. I taught them to put Nutella in their nappies and to go upstairs, take off the nappy and eat it!"

Viola Davis joins Graham from LA for a chat about her new film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Talking about her physical transformation for the role, she says, "The boobs are all mine, but I also had a lot of padding. I told the costume designer, 'I want to look like Aretha Franklin, that's the body I want.' The padding had such an effect on me - when I put it on I felt liberated, I felt way more sexy than I am, and I also felt way more ownership of my body. I was surprised, but I loved it."

Asked about Chadwick Boseman and working with him in what was to be his final screen appearance, she says, "When I found out he was gone, I lost it. I was so surprised because I had worked with him. I saw him thin and tired, but there are a lot of thin, tired actors in our business - it's an exhausting profession. But I cannot see his life as tragic because of his integrity and authenticity - he had those in great supply. He was a character actor in the body of a leading man."

Talking about her upcoming portrayal of Michelle Obama, she says, "I wish someone had taken me aside and said, 'Really think about this' because people love her, they feel like they know her and own her, and they don't want anything negative to touch her. As an actor you're like, 'Now, where's the mess? Where's the complexity?' How am I going to do that with her?"

Michael Sheen and David Tennant chat about the second series of Staged.

Asked about how close their on-screen personas are to the real them, Michael says, "I'd say David is not like the David Tennant in the show and I would say I probably am like the Michael Sheen." David disagrees, "No. I think the versions of us were inspired by elements of us and then exaggerated."

Michael adds, "The writer didn't know either of us when we started, and we still haven't actually met him. We brought stuff to it and as he got to know us slowly, I became more horrible." David interjects, "And I became more pathetic!"

Asked about the new series and any developments, David says, "The first one reflected that time when everyone was locked in and you couldn't leave, and you at least knew the rules. The second series exists in a world that we are all living in and reflects all the confusion there is about what we can do." Michael adds, "We are constantly on the verge of going somewhere, but never quite get there."

Vanessa Kirby, talking about her Oscar-tipped film Pieces Of A Woman, and the opening 30-minute birthing scene, says, "I had no idea how the hell to act it as I've not given birth, but I did shadow an obstetrician and there was a woman about to give birth. The midwife asked her if I could watch and I thought, 'There is no way she is going to let some random actress watch her give birth', but she said yes, and I was so grateful. She was in the flow of this magnificent moment and at one point she looked at me and I couldn't think of anything to do so I blew her a kiss. I felt like such an idiot! I was in awe and I could never have acted without her."

Asked about The Crown and handing over the role of Princess Margaret to someone else, she says, "It was only ever going to be for two seasons and Helena [Bonham Carter] is so amazing in the role. We text each other and call each other Marg."

Daisy May Cooper, talking about This Country going to America, says, "Apparently so. I'm getting some money for it, but I've nothing to do with it. It was amazing that we had Paul Feig come over to Cirencester and we sat in a pub and he said he would really like to direct it. It was so bizarre. It's got Stiffler [Sean William Scott] playing the vicar, which is a bit mad!"

Asked about the journey to success for the show, she says, "It was absolutely horrendous. I laugh about it now, but it was awful, and we had to make it work - our backs were against the wall and we had no plan B, so we just had to do it. We never thought about it not working because that would have been so depressing."

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe perform Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat about their new album."

And finally, Graham pulls the lever on David who volunteers to sit in the Big Red Chair on behalf of audience members telling their funniest stories from the comfort of their own home.

Broadcast details

Friday 18th December 2020
45 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Tuesday 22nd December 2020 1:15am BBC1
Tuesday 22nd December 2020 1:30am BBC1 Scot

Cast & crew

Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
David Tennant Guest
Michael Sheen Guest
George Clooney Guest
Vanessa Kirby Guest
Viola Davis Guest
Michael Ball Guest
Alfie Boe Guest
Daisy May Cooper Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Steve Smith Director
Jon Magnusson Series Producer
Pete Snell Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer
Catherine Strauss Line Producer
Perry Widdowson Editor
Chris Webster Production Designer
Mandy Furlonger Make-up Designer
Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis) Composer
Kerry Hussain Graphics
Will Charles Lighting Designer


Viola Davis on playing Michelle Obama

Viola Davis talks about playing Michelle Obama in First Ladies.

Featuring: Graham Norton & Viola Davis.

George Clooney's nutella prank

George Clooney talks about his prank which involves nappies and nutella.

Featuring: Graham Norton & George Clooney.

George Clooney as a kid photo

George Clooney looks back at some of his old childhood photos. A photo of him at 11 gives us all some hope.

Featuring: Graham Norton.

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