The Graham Norton Show. Graham Norton. Credit: So Television, Christopher Baines
The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show

  • TV chat show
  • BBC One / BBC Two
  • 2007 - 2024
  • 494 episodes (31 series)

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

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Series 29, Episode 6 - Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Salma Hayek, Tinie, Jesy Nelson

President Obama and Bruce Springsteen talk friendship, politics and White House parties; Judi Dench reveals all about her new feathered companion; Jamie Dornan says his new film was a gift; Salma Hayek is thrilled to be a superhero; Tinie talks property; and Jesy Nelson wishes Little Mix all the best.

Preview clips

Further details

President Obama and Bruce Springsteen join Graham in a pre-recorded chat from Bruce's house in New Jersey about their new book, Renegades: Born in the USA.

President Obama, talking about how the two men became friends, says, "Bruce is kind of shy when you first meet him. He's very charismatic when he is singing but doesn't say much afterwards. But he said a few things that made me think there is something to this man."

Bruce adds, "You don't make that many friends later in life so to bump into somebody you have some things in common with and who happens to be the President of the United States is a little rare."

Asked about their tensions between their careers and their family life, Bruce admits his rock and roll lifestyle didn't always go down well with his wife, "I had the bad habit of getting up around noon. At one point she said, 'You can do that, but you are going to miss the whole thing - the kids are at their best in the morning.' The next day I got up at six am - I was more used to going to bed at six am - and made pancakes. For the next 10 years I cooked breakfast for the children - if I'd ever blown my job as a musician I could have cooked in any diner across America!"

President Obama adds, "I think it is fair to say that Michelle was not thrilled with the initial idea of my running for President. Once I became President you are living above the store, so I ended up having more time with her and the girls because everyone comes to you and at the end of the day you just go upstairs - there is no commute. That period was easier, but campaigning was rough."

Asked if it was true that The White House gave Bruce his Broadway show, President Obama says, "I might not go that far. I didn't just hand it to him and say, 'Here you go.' He did write the songs and the book on which they are based, so I don't want to overdo it, but I will take a sliver of credit."

Bruce adds, "He did suggest that I should take what I did at The White House and find a way to make it a show that other folks could hear. He gave me a good nudge and I've got to give him some credit."

Talking about parties at The White House, President Obama says, "What is true is that we did have some good parties there, and it turns out that if folks are at a good party, they don't want to go home so it would go late sometimes." Jokingly adding, "People certainly misbehaved in ways I would not have expected under the portraits of George and Martha Washington!"

Asked about the American psyche, President Obama says, "What we are looking for I think is a sense of a common recognition of each other and that we can function politically without demonising or hating the other side. Having a base line of respect for each other as citizens and the values that our parents raised us on are the things we can recapture and have to recapture if we're to make any progress."

Talking about their podcast and asked if it will continue, President Obama says, "My hope is that alongside our book that Bruce gets back to writing songs and maybe I'll write a few things on my own, but we will keep going as long as people will have us."

Asked if what he would really like to do is go on tour with Bruce, he jokes, "There is no doubt that politicians are just failed rock stars! We'd all like the life Bruce has but we don't have the talent."

Judi Dench, talking about Kenneth Branagh's critically acclaimed film Belfast, in which she stars with Jamie Dornan, says, "When Ken asked me to play his grandmother I thought 'I'm not old enough to play his grandmother' but it's in the 70s and I wear a very dark wig so it's actually a really young part for me to play. I've now played his wife and his mother before so there's nothing left now!"

Revealing she has a new companion, she says, "She's a 14-year-old parrot called Sweetheart that's come to live with me. She says [in a deep gruff voice] 'What are you doing?' and around 11.30am she says, 'Bedtime.' I'm trying to teach her 'To be, or not to be' but she just looks at me sideways."

Asked if she has any sense of slowing down, Judi says, "We've all been slowing down for a year so thank goodness I am back at it!"

Jamie, talking about filming in Belfast, says, "Probably only once in my life will there be a movie about the town I am from. It was a like one of those proper gifts. We were one of the first productions shooting in Covid-times and it was such a fun job to do anyway, but particularly at that time when there was so much uncertainty."

Asked about his young co-star, 10-year-old Jude Hill, Jamie says, "He is brilliant. Where we come from taking the mick out of each other is sort of our currency and he was pretty brutal with me. At one point his dad came up to me and said, 'I've had a word and asked him to lay off you for a bit.' I was like, 'I appreciate that, but I am okay - I am nearly 40 and I can take it!"

Salma Hayek, talking about her Marvel debut in Eternals, and explaining her role, says, "I could have been a mother of one of the mortals or the nanny, which is normally what I would have got. Actually, I was shocked when I was told I was going to be a superhero Latina woman in my 50s, as I am. I was super excited but also scared because I had to sign a contract without seeing the script - I mean, I didn't marry until I was in my 40s, so I was reluctant! But let's face it, it is Marvel after all, so I signed!"

Talking about her co-stars, she says, "I spent a lot of time with these people, and they are such good friends now. Angie [Angelina Jolie] is amazing - we have so much in common and we really hit it off. She has kids the same age as mine and we love to fight for justice - her more than me. Sometimes we have really intense conversations and sometimes I just had to say, 'Oh no, not today, Angie!"

Tinie Tempah, talking about his new property show Extraordinary Extensions, and asked how it came about, says: "During the pandemic the music industry was in tatters, and I was twiddling my thumbs. I was super sceptical at first as the idea of being a presenter freaked me out - I am not sure about the description 'rapper/presenter' but it's a good way to connect to people the same age as me. The fun thing about the show was travelling the country meeting eccentric people."

In an exclusive TV performance, Jesy Nelson performs Boyz in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.

Talking about her first ever TV performance as a solo artist, she says, "It was really scary."

Asked how P Diddy came to be in her video, she says, "From the moment I wrote the song I knew I wanted him in it. He heard the song and loved it and then said he would be in the video. I feel like he definitely thought I was in the Spice Girls!

Talking about falling out with other members of Little Mix, she says, "We're not talking any more. It is sad but honestly there is no bad blood from my side, and I still love them to pieces and genuinely wish them all the best. I loved my time with them, and we've got the most incredible memories together but It's just one of those things which needs to take time, so who knows. To me they are still the 'sickest' girl band in the world."

Asked about what is next for her, she says, "An album hopefully next year. I'm still in the writing process and I don't want to rush things."

Broadcast details

Friday 29th October 2021
45 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Tuesday 2nd November 2021 1:55am BBC1

Cast & crew

Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Tinie (as Tinie Tempah) Guest
Salma Hayek Guest
Judi Dench (as Dame Judi Dench) Guest
Jamie Dornan Guest
Bruce Springsteen Guest
Jesy Nelson Guest
Barack Obama Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Production team
Toby Baker 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


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Salma Hayek at Comic Con

Salma Hayek recalls nearly spoiling Marvel's Eternals at Comic Con.

Featuring: Graham Norton & Salma Hayek.

Barack Obama & Bruce Springsteen

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen talk about the parties they had in the White House.

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