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.

Episode menu

Series 31, Episode 5 - Judi Dench, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Whitehall, Jay Blades, Duran Duran

Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about his competitiveness, Dame Judi Dench quotes Shakespeare, Jay Blades says his life is unbelievable, Jack Whitehall talks about his new daughter, and Duran Duran perform live in the studio.

Further details

Arnold Schwarzenegger, talking about his book Be Useful: Seven Tools For Life, says, "My father taught me always to be useful. When I told him I was doing exercises to build muscle, he said I should go and chop wood and shovel coal for a neighbour - it would build muscle and be useful. His advice has motivated me all my life."

Asked about his extraordinary life, he says, "I always chased the vision. I always looked forward and didn't listen to the naysayers. Everyone including my parents thought I was out of my mind wanting to be an actor. Luckily, I didn't listen to them. They said I couldn't be on the same ladder as Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson, so I made my own ladder."

Joking about his accent, he says, "In the early days I had teachers for everything including an accent-removal coach, but I didn't have the talent to lose it and I should have got my money back!"

And on his famous rivalry with Sylvester Stallone, he says, "We were movie rivals, but we took the competitiveness to the extreme - we each had to have the best body, we had to kill more people in our films, and we had to have the biggest guns. It got out of control, and we tried to derail each other. Then, when we both invested in Plant Hollywood, we started flying around the world together to promote it and we became fantastic friends. He is a great human being, and we are now inseparable."

Asked if he is sad that the US constitution does not allow him to run for president, he says, "Everything I have accomplished is because of America. I am not going to complain about not getting one job!"

Dame Judi Dench, discussing her book Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays The Rent, says about the title, "Michael [her late husband Michael Williams] and I were both in Shakespeare plays for four years when we first met so he literally was paying our rent."

Talking about collaborating on the book with actor Brendan O'Hea, she says, "I didn't think there would be a book at the end of the glorious conversations we had. He was wonderful and sparked lots of memories."

Asked about her ability to quote so much of Shakespeare's works, Judi gives a mesmerising performance of Sonnet 29.

Jay Blades, talking about his memoir Life Lessons, says, "My life has been challenging and unbelievable. I have made mistakes, but it has been phenomenal."

Describing the moment he reached rock bottom, he says, "In 2015 everything in my life flopped, everything went to pot, and I was suicidal. At that time a friend took me under his wing, and he still has me in his fold. I have been really lucky." Becoming emotional, he adds, "Having him in my corner has allowed me to fly."

Asked about the emotion experienced by people taking part in The Repair Shop, he says, "I am not surprised at all. It's a phenomenal reaction to a powerful show."

Jack Whitehall talking about his seven-week-old daughter Elsie's name, says, "About a month before she was born, I had to spike some inappropriate names my girlfriend Roxy suggested. One day she asked what I thought of 'Phoenix'. I said, 'Over my dead body, it's a stripper's name.' Asked how I knew, I found myself googling the top 10 strippers' names. Phoenix is not on the list, but number one is Roxy!"

Asked if his material for his stand-up tour has changed now he is a father, he says, "It's changed a bit and I do feel a bit guilty that I am making punchlines up about her!"

Duran Duran perform their new single Black Moonlight live in the studio, before Nick and Simon join Graham for a chat about their new album.

Broadcast details

Friday 27th October 2023
50 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Monday 30th October 2023 11:25pm BBC1
Tuesday 31st October 2023 12:25am BBC1 Scot

Cast & crew

Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Jack Whitehall Guest
Judi Dench (as Dame Judi Dench) Guest
Arnold Schwarzenegger Guest
Simon Le Bon (as Duran Duran) Guest
Nick Rhodes (as Duran Duran) Guest
Jay Blades Guest
Duran Duran Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Production team
Toby Baker Director
Pete Snell Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer
Catherine Strauss Line Producer
Perry Widdowson Editor
Chris Webster Production Designer
Mandy Furlonger Make-up Designer
Chris Rigby Lighting Designer
Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis) Composer
Kerry Hussain Graphics


Jack Whitehall doesn't like the name Phoenix

Jack Whitehall shares why he rejected the name Phoenix for his new born.

Featuring: Graham Norton & Jack Whitehall.

Arnold Schwarzenegger on his accent

Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about his accent, and how it became his strongest asset.

Featuring: Graham Norton & Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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