On The Graham Norton Show, airing Tuesday 27 November on BBC Brit (DStv Channel 120) at 9pm, Graham welcomes star of stage and screen Sir Ian McKellen, singing star Michael Bublé, Oscar-nominated Carey Mulligan and Kingsman star Taron Egerton.
Michael, talking about his new single and album after a two-year hiatus, says, “My family has been through a lot and there is enough negative stuff out there in the world so I just wanted to make a ‘baby-making’ record. My romance with being creative never went away, I just got a different perspective on life – this is a beautiful chance to enjoy life and I don’t want to know what the critics think.”
And, on the emotionally charged song, Forever Now, he says, “It’s about time – the sentimental passing of time. I wrote it and sang the demo but it is too painful to ever sing again.”
Talking about his singing style, he says he has borrowed something from every great singer. Demonstrating, he croons in the style of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Elvis.
Carey, talking about attending the wedding of Harry and Meghan, says, “We had a lovely day. We got there early because we didn’t think we should be later than Oprah Winfrey.” Asked if, once they arrived at the church, they were in lock down, she says, “Kind of. We had a two hour wait and I was really worried that there wouldn’t be a toilet so I played it safe and I didn’t drink anything. I was pretty dehydrated. It was a crazy day and I was super focused on just not falling over.”
Asked about her new role in Wildfire, she reveals that her character has been polarising, “Some people have been appalled by my character. It’s interesting and has raised the question of how people view woman on screen. If a man behaves badly it is okay but if a woman steps out of line it’s kind of not okay.”
Taron, talking about his new film Robin Hood and how he mastered archery for the role, says, “I did a fair bit of training, I spent weeks doing it and had bleeding fingers but when I got on set I didn’t have to fire one arrow!”
Revealing he had just one rule when he was offered the part of the legendary outlaw, he says, “I wouldn’t wear tights! They got me into snugly fitting track pants instead.”
And on playing Elton John in the upcoming Rocketman biopic, he says, “It was the single greatest experience of my life.” Adding, Elton was amazing. I had my ear pierced for the role and he gave me his first ever diamond earring.”
Ian McKellen joins Graham for a chat.
Asked about his upcoming tour of Ian McKellen on Stage, and why he’s doing it, he says, “I am beginning to wonder! Stand up is the greatest discipline so next year I am doing lots of one night stands. It’ll be busy and fun.”
Revealing a rather mischievous moment, he says, “I was doing a concert at Buckingham Palace and was given a dressing room right next to thebalcony and decided to have a fag on it. I was standing out there smoking with a view of The Mall when there was a search light on me and a policeman down below shouted up, ‘Sir Ian, don’t forget you’re in Buckingham Palace!’ Six months later I was there to get a medal and as I walked through the gate with a friend the same policeman said, ‘Not you two again!'”
Talking about preparing for his upcoming role in the movie version of Cats, he sings a line or two and cheekily jokes, “I’m looking for the inner pussy – the ‘moggyiness’ that’s within us all.” Adding, “I’ve always wanted to be in a musical on stage so rather late in the day this is like a dream come true.”
Michael performs I Only Have Eyes For You live in the studio.
And finally, Graham pulls the lever on more foolhardy audience members brave enough to sit in the Big Red Chair.
The Graham Norton Show, BBC BRIT, Tuesday 27 November 9pm.