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The Graham Norton Show

BBC One and BBC Two chat show hosted by Graham Norton. 432 episodes (28 series), 2007 - 2021. Stars Graham Norton.

Another series is in development.

Series 9, Episode 8 - Jack Dee, James McAvoy, Liza Minnelli

Graham is joined by Jack Dee; British actor-turned-Hollywood star James McAvoy; and the legendary Liza Minnelli.

Further details

Talking about her recent surgery, Liza Minnelli says: "I've had everything replaced, but the knee was tough. It was harder than the hip - the hip was a snap compared to that. I like to say, 'from the waist up I am Dorothy's daughter and from the waist down I am the tin man's kid.'"

And on recording her new album, whilst having knee surgery, she says: "I had to stay in bed so I recorded it there. I was going nuts staying off my feet so I thought, 'what can I do for six weeks?' Every other album I have recorded was on stage so I made an intimate album - the bedroom album."

Discussing her upcoming tour Liza says: "I've done it my whole life and I love it. I am a modern vaudevillian and have friends all over the world so I get excited about it."

Asked by Graham if the tour is exhausting, she says: "You have to go on one day at a time - sometimes 13 seconds at a time - and then start the day over."

Liza and James' chemistry, with gentle joshing and flirting, is apparent during the show and when Liza reveals: "I love to entertain at home, I have friends come over and we usually end up around the piano." James asks: "Can all your friends sing? Because if you invited me over and asked me to sing, I would be hugely intimidated by you." Liza jokingly responds: "I wouldn't invite you."

Asked about a surreal encounter with Elvis, Liza says: "I met him in LA; he watched the show and he invited us back to his suite. A group of us, including Alice Cooper, Chubby Checker and Linda Lovelace were there and Elvis disappeared. Then suddenly the door flies open and he's there in full karate dress shouting 'Hi-Ya' and kicking. And then his teacher comes flying over - it was like a Peter Sellers' movie."

When Graham asks Liza if she is currently dating, she coyly says: "Yes, but I'm not telling you," before adding, "When you've been through as many marriages as I have, what I've figured out is that you need to know a really wealthy older man who's terribly charming, takes you to wonderful places and pays for everything. Then you need a vital 40 or 50 year old who is crazy about what he does, and then someone whose name you don't know and you see twice a week."

James talks about life before acting, explaining: "I worked in a bakery making fairy cakes. It was dull and I worked on my own so I used to write all the names of all the girls I wanted to sleep with in the cakes in jam. That got me through the night."

On his acting skill of crying on cue, he says: "Generally I can do it when I need to it but every now and then I've had to get the tweezers out and do the 'Joey Tribbiani' trick." Explaining the technique to a mystified Liza, he says: "You put your hands in your pockets and using tweezers pull out your pubic hairs."

Jack Dee, talking about Lead Balloon says: "It is the last series because it really is time consuming. I loved doing it but there are other things I want to do." Admitting he has a passion for watching home shopping channels, he says: "I am addicted. I can't stop watching. I spent an hour recently watching a man wax a car."

Liza performs I Must Have That Man from her new album, live in the studio.

And finally, and to the obvious shock of Liza, Graham pulls the lever on foolhardy members of the audience brave enough to sit in the red chair. As Graham ejects the first storyteller, Liza observes: "That was like my first audition."

Broadcast details

Friday 3rd June 2011
45 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Liza Minnelli Guest
James McAvoy Guest
Jack Dee Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Steve Smith Director
Jon Magnusson Series Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer

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