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

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 28, Episode 3 - Arsène Wenger, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Dawn French, Freddie Flintoff, Michael Kiwanuka

Arsène Wenger says football made him a monster; Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson talk about their new documentary; Dawn French reveals her husband is not allowed to read her books; Freddie Flintoff says he would like to coach cricket; and Michael Kiwanuka performs live in the studio.

Further details

Arsène Wenger, talking about his autobiography My Life in Red and White, and asked why being a manager had become his dream, says, "It's not obvious to explain. I was passionate about the game and slowly I began educating players. I found it interesting and I loved it. You can have an influence on individual life of people in a positive way."

Asked about Alex Ferguson, and whether the aggression towards him was real, he says, "He was my biggest rival for 10 years. Competition is real - it's you or me. Pain hurts and the biggest pain is to lose a football game. I was physically sick when I lost. When I was a young manager, I thought I would not survive in the job because the tension is so high and the pain so big when you lose."

Revealing he has regrets, he says, "Football was everything. In life you have to find meaning and football had meaning for me. Today, when I look back - I am 70 now - I am a bit frightened of why it had such a big importance to me. Why did I sacrifice so much, and why did I live such a monastic life and not want to know anything else? Sometimes I worry about that. It was painful to look back and realise what a monster I was and how selfish I was because I lived my football with 100% intensity."

Samuel L. Jackson and Latanya Richardson Jackson join Graham for a chat from LA about their upcoming documentary Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Talking about taking a DNA test to discover his roots and meeting the tribe he is descended from in Gabon, Samuel says, "It was wonderful meeting them - it is easy to be comfortable when you are welcomed like a lost son. I was embraced and celebrated - it was like a homecoming."

Asked about their 40-year marriage and how Samuel proposed, Latanya says, "He never did." Samuel interjects, "Didn't I, I don't remember." Continuing the story, she says, "My grandfather was concerned that he wouldn't be around to walk me up the aisle, so I told Samuel that first he had to ask my grandfather if he could marry me and then he had to ask me!"

Freddie Flintoff, talking about his new book Right, Said Fred, says, "During lockdown I had a lot going on in my head so I thought I would put it all in a book."

Asked about cricket dominating his life, he says, "In sport you need to be selfish but I was selfish as a person - when we won I'd go out with the lads and celebrate, but when I lost, the family would get it when I would go home and sulk. I wouldn't speak and it would do me in for days and days. Looking back on my career all the games that stand out are the losses - I could tell you how I got out, but never how many runs I scored."

Talking about possibly coaching in the future, he says, "I never thought I would say this, but since I've retired, I've actually started loving cricket more than I ever did, and further down the line I would like to coach. There would only be two teams to coach - Lancashire or England - but I have lots of clawing back to do before I am even considered!"

Asked about the antics he gets up to on Top Gear, he says, "Everyone thinks I am a daredevil, but that is not the case. After bungee jumping in a car, they keep upping the ante. I just don't tell the wife what I am doing!"

Dawn French, describing her new novel, Because Of You, says: "It's about identity, belonging, and families. It's about who make us really - whether it's the blood connection, the genes, or who steps up and raises you. Is that what we are made of? I'm interested in those things and that's what I wanted to write about."

Asked if she ever allows her husband to read her work, she says, "No - I made that mistake when I first met Mark of showing him one of my books and he fell asleep while reading it!"

Michael Kiwanuka performs his latest single Light live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat about his new album. Asked if winning the Mercury Prize had made a difference to his music, he says, "It gave it much more attention - it was the best way to get it out to people. Sales went up 6,000%! I even got a letter from José Mourinho congratulating me - my childhood team was Tottenham Hotspur so to get a letter from the manager was crazy!"

Broadcast details

Friday 16th October 2020
45 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Dawn French Guest
Andrew Flintoff (as Freddie Flintoff) Guest
Samuel L. Jackson Guest
Michael Kiwanuka Guest
Arsène Wenger Guest
LaTanya Richardson Jackson 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


Freddie Flintoff on bungee jumping a car

Freddie Flintoff talks about the Top Gear stunt where he bungee jumped a car off a bridge.

Featuring: Graham Norton, Freddie Flintoff.


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