On tonight’s show (25th February) Graham welcomes Oscar-nominated Benedict Cumberbatch, iconic drag queen and recording artist RuPaul, Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones, actor and director Diane Morgan, and music guests Regard x Years & Years.

Benedict Cumberbatch says the Oscars will be great no matter what happens, RuPaul says it’s gut wrenching for drag queens slashed from his show, Daisy Edgar-Jones believes her new film isn’t for the faint-hearted, Diane Morgan talks about the terrible jobs she’s had, and Regard and Years & Years perform live in the studio

Benedict, talking about his and the other 11 Oscar-nominations received for Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, says, “Whatever happens on the night the whole raft of those nominations are so richly deserved and obviously I am thrilled that the four of us as a cast are nominated.  We are going to be awesome on that dancefloor – it’s going to be great no matter what happens.”

Asked about the film itself, he says, “Jane encouraged me to stay in character.  She was very secure about all the things I was insecure about and said, ‘Do whatever you have to do to feel ownership of this very different lived experience.’ So, I went off to Montana for two months to find out what it is like to live on a ranch and to experience all those things you see in the film.  It was incredible and so far from anything I have ever done.”  

Putting his new-found cattle wrangling skills to use, he reveals, “I came back from shooting the film in August and we were off to the beach.  To get there we had to cross a field and in the field was a petrified family who just couldn’t move, they were frozen because of a herd of cows with calves.  I thought, ‘I can do this,’ and I just sort of parted the waves of cattle.  The family was like, ‘That was incredible.  Hey, aren’t you Sherlock?’ It was very un-Sherlock activity!”

Talking about the huge success of Spiderman: No Way Home, Benedict says, “It is incredible – there was a lot riding on it, so they threw everything at it, and it’s been a phenomenal success.”

RuPaul, talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World, which he describes as the ‘Olympics of drag,’ and asked about the surprise elimination of Pangina, he says, “I remember the crying – it was tragic because the girls have their hopes up real high.  It is gut wrenching when it happens – they have made it this far only to be slashed (from the show) by one of their sisters.”

Talking about the international versions of the show, he says, “We have just come back from New Zealand.  Down Under queens are different – a bit more (nurse) Ratched, which is great, and they have a great sense of humour.  That is what it is all about and we have so much fun.”

Asked if he ever does drag for fun, he says, “No.  When I started my friends, and I would go out and party all night long – New York City in the 80s was crazy.  Then when I got famous all that ended, and it became a job.” 

Daisy, talking about her new twisted thriller Fresh, says, “It’s a hard film to talk about because the joy of it is watching it having no idea what is coming – I would say it wasn’t for the faint-hearted or the easily queasy.  I really hate horrors and am spooked easily but making the film was such a fun job – we were very giggly.  The film is dark but it’s funny too and very outrageous.”

Asked about the upcoming Where the Crawdads Sing, and whether there was added pressure because, like Normal People, the book is so well loved, she says, “There is so much joy bringing a literary character to life, but you know everyone has already fallen in love with the character.  When I did Normal People, I had no idea what was going to happen and thank goodness as I would have been too terrified to do anything.  So maybe there is a wee bit more pressure this time.”

Diane, talking about the second series of her BBC series Mandy, in which her character is job seeking, she says, “I’ve had tons of terrible jobs.  The worst one was packing worming tablets for 10 hours a day.  It was awful.  The best one was being a dental nurse – it was a great job, but I did knock someone’s tooth out!”

Recalling filming an episode of Inside No. 9 she says, “The entire thing was filmed on a pedalo in the middle of a lake and the crew said, ‘Before we go out there make sure you’ve been to the toilet because you’re not coming back for hours.’  I was terrified because my bladder is the size of a walnut, so I ordered some adult nappies because I was so scared of being that one person that needed the loo.  I thought I was getting a pack of 12 but in fact I got a box of 500 – they are still in the garage.  I have to say, I never deployed them!”

Regard x Years & Years perform their new single Hallucination live in the studio before Olly joins Graham for a chat about the single and his upcoming tour.”

And finally, Graham pulls the lever on more foolhardy audience members brave enough to sit in The Big Red Chair.

The Graham Norton Show, Friday 25th February BBC One 10.35pm and available on BBC iPlayer.

Notes to editors – All quotes in this release were made during the recording of the show but won’t necessarily appear in the final version.

On Friday 4th and Friday 11th Graham presents compilation shows of highlights from the recent series featuring a host of stars including Will Smith, Olivia Colman, Tom Holland, Miriam Margolyes, Salma Hayek, Sir Ian McKellen, Andie MacDowell, Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Dame Judi Dench, Daniel Craig, Zendaya, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Kenneth Branagh, Cate Blanchett, Ant and Dec, Andrew Garfield, Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch, Penelope Cruz, Stanley Tucci, Dawn French, James McAvoy, Olivia Colman, Martin Freeman, Vicky McClure, RuPaul, Ricky Gervais, and many more.