On The Graham Norton Show, airing Tuesday 11 December on BBC Brit (DStv Channel 120) at 9pm, Graham welcomes Oscar-nominated actor and comedian Steve Carell, national treasure Dawn French, Black Panther star Michael B Jordan, star of The Affair and Luther Ruth Wilson and singer songwriter Cheryl.
Steve Carell, talking about his new movie, Welcome to Marwen, says, “It’s a difficult concept to get your head around, but god, I look good as G.I. Joe!”
Revealing that as a young man he took part in revolutionary war reenactments, Steve says, “I played the fife and got dressed up. It was so, so nerdy to speak about when I was 17 and definitely not to girls!”
Dawn, explaining the concept of the pantomime to a bemused Steve and Michael, says, “It’s a bit like opening a tin of Quality Street – it’s very joyful.”
Asked about starring in Snow White this year, she says, “Pantomime is back! This one has won Olivier Awards and I was gagging to be part of it. It’s great fun.”
And on her new book, Me You A Diary, she says, “It’s a bit of wisdom about the things I’ve learnt and some questions I’ve still got about life. It’s to remind you throughout the year to like yourself.” Talking about liking various parts of her body and how she has named them, she says, “For example, my boobs are Ant and Dec because one is slightly smaller and my more intimate areas are called Mumford and Sons because they are beardy!”
Michael, talking about Creed II, and starring alongside the likes of Sylvester Stallone, and Dolph Lundgren, he says, “It’s pretty cool.” Asked if it’s true that Stallone is handing over the Rocky mantle to him, he says, “On the last day of filming everyone gave their wrap speech and he segued into passing the torch to me and I got really emotional really fast because I wasn’t expecting it from him whatsoever. It’s a character that he has played for 40 plus years – longer than I have been alive. It was pretty special. We’ll see what happens with Creed III. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back.”
Asked about working opposite real boxers, he says, “It makes it believable. We need real fighters in there to sell it. It worked and it made it make sense.” And on taking a real punch in the first movie, he says, “It felt like I was in a car accident, but I wasn’t technically knocked out. I was seeing stars, but I thought it must be a good take so I stayed down!”
Dawn demonstrates her comedy stage punch skills on Michael.
Ruth joins Graham for a chat.
Talking about her new BBC series, Mrs Wilson, and asked whether playing her own grandmother makes the role harder, she says “It’s completely insane. It’s madness to turn up and play the mother to my dad and my uncle. I have to give birth to my own father at one point, which is totally bizarre. I do feel sorry for my dad. As an actor, I have put my parents through so much on screen and now he’s got to watch his daughter give birth to him. It’s so weird!”
Cheryl performs Love Made Me Do it live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.
Talking about why she took a four-year before her comeback, she says, “I needed it. You get into a routine and are on a treadmill for years and years. When you have a break, you have time to refocus and re-appreciate everything. It feels good.”
Asked if there is an album coming out soon, she says, “I have a body of work so I do have enough material for an album but since I’ve been gone, streaming has come in so I will release singles and possibly do an album sometime.”
Talking about the inspiration for her new single, she says, “It kind of pokes fun at myself. It’s not about anybody.”
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 11 December 9pm.