On tonight’s show (18th February), Graham welcomes Oscar-nominated star Andrew Garfield, writer and performer Dawn French, Magic Mike star Channing Tatum, dancer and choreographer Johannes Radebe, top comic Rob Beckett, and singer songwriter Natalie Imbruglia.

Andrew Garfield says winning an Oscar would be wonderful, Channing Tatum talks about making the ‘Super Bowl’ of stripper movies, Dawn French says she has done lots of stupid things, Johannes Radebe talks about Freedom, Rob Beckett says his new stage show will be a big party, and Natalie Imbruglia reveals how she overcame writer’s block

Andrew, talking about the Oscar nomination for his role in Tick, Tick… Boom! says, “When they announced it, I thought, ‘Gosh, this would be nice if it happened and I kind of owned it for the first time in my life.  You get to a certain age, and you think you would like it to happen.  I do care, and it’s wonderful, really, really lovely.”

Talking about about playing Jonathan Larson in the critically acclaimed film, he says, “What I love about it is that he wrote it to reclaim his artistry and calling.  If he hadn’t have carried on in the face of rejection and failure, he would have left the world so much less rich, and I find that deeply moving.  He is an incredibly inspiring artistic figure in my life, and I hope this film keeps his ripples and music spreading throughout the cosmos.”

Asked if he would do a stage musical, he says, “I would love to, but you need to be a thoroughbred.  I have the deepest respect for those performers.”  I hate to confess it, but I would absolutely love to do Strictly.  It’s on the bucket list.”  Jokingly adding, “If I win the Oscar I will come back and do it!”

Talking about Spiderman: No Way Home, he says, “It was a stupid thing to do and a really scary thing to attempt especially in the costume – a 38-year-old should not be in Spandex!  I’m far too old to be playing Spiderman but they asked me back, which was the sweetest thing ever.”

Dawn, talking about the pressure from everyone for the return French and Saunders, she says, “There are no plans at the moment, but we are doing something for Comic Relief this year.  I think the time for the sketch show is over, but Jen and I are like kids when we get together and have lots of fun thinking about it – the likes of Line of Duty, Killing Eve and The Crown are just begging for it!”  

Asked about her one woman show Dawn French is a Huge Twat, she says, “Everyone asked me not to be so cruel to myself, but it is true, it’s probably true of everyone.  It’s a show about all the times I have done stupid things, which is alarmingly often.  You name it, I have done it.  I was in the line-up to meet Prince Charles at the premiere of Narnia in which I played Mrs Beaver and when he asked me what I did in the film, I said, ‘Tonight Your Royal Highness you will see my beaver.”  I sort of smiled at him, he sort of twinkled at me and then moved on very quickly!”

Talking about the new Murder on the Nile, Dawn says, “It is a beautiful film, and I was on my best behaviour.  With Jennifer in it too the temptation to parody everyone was huge, but Ken Branagh is very strict.” 

Channing joins Graham from LA to talk about his canine-buddy road-trip movie Dog.

Talking about the storyline, he says, “It’s just a good little dog movie and I am very proud of it.  We didn’t make the Godfather, but it is good.  It’s not a sad movie, it’s more emblematic of my life with my puppy Lulu but it’s the first film I have made where everyone begs me to know the ending before they go and see it.  I think Marley and Me really scarred a lot of people and I have to tell them that the dog doesn’t have a horrible ending!”

And on his directorial debut, he says, “When you are working on a movie you’re constantly going, ‘I think I could do this,’ and you constantly have opinions but when you get in the seat it’s like ‘Oh my god, what have I done.’  I definitely bit off a lot, but we got it made.”

Asked about the return of Magic Mike, he says, “I wasn’t really planning to do it again, but we did a few live shows and what we learnt about men and women in that space was really fun stuff, so we decided to make a third movie.  Our goal is to make the ‘Super Bowl’ of stripper movies and leave it all out there so there never needs to be another stripper movie again!”  

Johannes, talking about Strictly and the moment he was dropped by his dance partner John Waite, he says, “It was so embarrassing, and I wanted the world to swallow me up, but these things happen, it’s live television.  I thought, ‘This isn’t going to go well but stand it out girl.  It was not cute, but I think it saved us that night.  It was a sympathy vote, but people saw we didn’t take ourselves that seriously and it was endearing.”

Dawn interjects, “I might have been asked to do Strictly, but I fear I would be regarded as the funny one and made to do silly things.  I take dancing seriously and I would like to do proper dancing.”

Describing his new stage show Freedom, Johannes says, “It’s a melting pot of everything I have learnt.  I have danced around the world, but it is first time I have danced to my music.  I have all these African influences and I finally get to dance to my own tune.  It is a lot of dancers’ dream to headline their own show and we don’t get opportunities like that where I come from.  I am just so grateful that I am here, and it is happening for me.”

Johannes gives a taster of his new show with a few fabulous dance moves.

Rob talking about his hit podcast Parenting Hell and the kick off of the tour in 2023, says, “Because of Covid there is a massive backlog of shows and that is the first date we could get.  But it will give all those parents time to book a babysitter!  We can’t wait.  There will be chat but lots of things where the audience can get involved.  People really connected with, and enjoyed the podcast, and the show will feel like a big party with everyone that listened over Lockdown.”

Natalie performs Nothing Missing live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.

Talking about her first album of original songs in 10 years, she says, “I quit music and moved to LA.  I lost confidence and had writer’s block for five years and then I went to Nashville, and it was intense and amazing.  There were lots of tears, but I wrote When You Love Too Much which was a turning point.  It was pretty good and a nice feeling.  I am in a really great place.”

Asked about being the Panda in The Masked Singer, she says, “People were very pushy and kept asking if it was me.  I would say, ‘Everyone keeps texting me about this show, I will have to watch it.’  I really got into keeping the secret though.  I had to wear gloves and a balaclava, and I used a bad American accent.”

Talking about the demise of Neighbours, she says, “I have signed the petition.  Does anyone want life without it?  It’s terrible.”

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 18th 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.

Next week (25th February) Graham’s guests include Benedict Cumberbatch, RuPaul, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Regard x Years & Years.