On the show tonight (28th October), Graham welcomes, pop superstar Taylor Swift, rock legend Bono, Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, BBC presenter and former Lioness Alex Scott, and singer Lady Blackbird.
Taylor Swift talks about re-recording her early albums, Bono shares the song he wrote for Sinatra, Eddie Redmayne says he is a terrible nurse, Alex Scott talks about her memoir, and Lady Blackbird performs live in the studio.
Taylor, talking about the inspiration for her new album, Midnights, says, “It’s all about sleepless nights and the hour of midnight. I’ve had sleepless nights all through my life and there is such intensity when you are up all night. It’s a concept album and the main question is ‘What keeps you up at night?’”
Asked about the response to the album, she says, “I am thrilled.” Adding jokingly, “But, I do think it’s a little accusatory when people say I broke Spotify. It was my gorgeous fans that broke Spotify!”
Talking about re-recording some of her back catalogue, she says, “I had wanted to own my work when I changed labels but my first six albums were sold away from me so I figured that if I could make them the first time, I could make them again. I am thankful to radio stations across the US that will only play my new versions, it is so heart-warming. It is something I care about but I don’t expect other people to care about it, it’s very personal to me. It is a lot of work but it is fun and I can’t believe people have got behind it in the way they have.”
Asked if she will be touring any time soon, she says, “We will sometime soonish. It’s going to happen. We will do it and it will be great.”
Recalling a screen test she did with Eddie for Les Misérables, Taylor says, “Basically I was up for two roles – I had the look of Cosette and the range vocally of Eponine, so it was established I was there for a good time but not for a long time, I wasn’t going to get the role. But, they asked if I would like to go to London to do a screen test with Eddie, who is one of my favourite actors, and I thought ‘This isn’t an experience I am going to get again in my life,’ so I said yes.
“When I got there they put me in full 19th Century street urchin costume and told me they were going to paint my teeth brown and I was like, ‘You are going to do that after I meet Eddie Redmayne right?’ But no, they made me look like death and it became a nightmare. When I met Eddie I didn’t open my mouth to speak!”
Eddie adds, “I thought we would just be singing off each other – I didn’t know we would be in each other’s arms. My overriding memory of it is that I had had pizza and garlic dough balls beforehand and all I could think about was my garlic breath while Taylor was dying in my arms and I was trying to show emotion.”
Bono, talking about his new memoir Surrender, says, “I wanted to explain to my friends and family what I had done with their lives. They gave me permission to be an artist and an activist travelling around the world and we don’t really talk about that stuff at the dinner table. It turns out that the most extraordinary thing about me are the relationships I am in. I met most of them in one week at school and I think the longevity comes from the community of people that knows who you are and how you became who you are, we have shared memories.”
Talking about his father, he says, “We had a combative relationship and I wanted to impress him so I flew him out to Texas to see me in concert. Afterwards he came in and his eyes were all red and I thought, ‘Oh my god, my father is going to give me a compliment and I did a deep swallow.’ He put out his hand and said, ‘You are very professional.’ That meant everything to him – and from him it was the greatest compliment.”
Recalling a meeting with Frank Sinatra, Bono says, “He was a tough guy and I am attracted to tough guys. He told me, ‘You are the only man with an earring I am going to like.’ We wrote a song for him called Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad but sadly he passed away before he could record it.”
Bono gives an impromptu performance of the song.
Asked if he is working on any new music, he says, “We want to make a really unreasonable guitar record, real, proper rock and roll.”
Eddie, talking about starring in new crime thriller The Good Nurse, and the medical skills training he received, says, “Being a nurse is a massive thing – to be a nurse you need to be great at science and at maths, be physically incredibly strong and an emotional conduit. I am a useless and appalling nurse – I went to nurse school and totally failed, and on the first take of the whole film I put the needle straight through my thumb!”
Alex, talking about her autobiography How (Not) To Be Strong, and asked why she has written it now, she says, “I am so glad I waited because I have so many more new and exciting chapters in my life. I have been on a personal journey of growth which has allowed me to detail with raw honesty everything I have been through. Telling my story in my own way was through the book. As a small kid kicking a ball I would never have thought I would be able to sit and write my own book – it is one of my proudest achievements.”
Asked about the Lionesses success at Euro 22, she says, “It was huge and has changed so much. It was so emotional. The final chapter in my book was going to be a letter to my mum, but as soon as that happened I was like, “Sorry mum, there is another one going in.”
Lady Blackbird performs her new single Feel It Comin live in the studio, before joining Graham for a chat.
Talking about her latest persona and music, she says, “I stripped everything down to pay attention to the voice. It is much more vulnerable.”
The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, Friday 28th October, 10.40pm. Also
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 (4th November) Graham’s guests include Paul Mescal, Michaela Coel, Winston Duke, Emma Corrin, Richard Ayoade, and Loyle Carner.
For further information please contact Mary Collins 07769 670516 or at email@example.com
28th October 2022