Graham Norton meets Tom Hanks, Suranne Jones, Naomi Ackie, Richard Osman and Rina Sawayama

On tonight’s festive show (16th December) Graham welcomes Hollywood great Tom Hanks, British actors Suranne Jones and Naomi Akie, presenter and writer Richard Osman, and singer songwriter Rina Sawayama.

Tom Hanks talks about acting with his youngest son, Suranne Jones says she wanted to do a film her six-year-old could watch, Naomi Ackie says playing Whitney was formative, Richard Osman admits he loves knowing people want to read his books, and Rina Sawayama performs live in the studio.

Tom, talking about playing ‘the grumpiest man in America’ in A Man Called Otto, say, “It’s fantastic to release my inner grouch.”  Tom demonstrates what he is like when he is bad tempered at home.

Asked about working with his son in the film, he says, “Truman plays my character’s younger self, but he’s not the actor in the family – he’s an artist and is going to be a cinematographer.   We talked about it a lot and it was all his choice, but I said to him, ‘No matter what your last name is, you are going to have to hit the marks.’  Not everyone is cut out for that, but he did a magnificent job and I thought he was extraordinary.  

“It’s still to be discovered if he’s caught the acting bug – we will see where he wants to go with it.  I’ve always said to the kids, ‘It’s great work if you can get it but you’ve got to make it stick.  But his passion is shaping the shot rather than being in the shot.”

Talking about his upcoming novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, he jokes, “Write what you know, right?”  Adding, “No one knows how we make movies – it is so cockamamie how you get a movie from someone’s idea to the screen. I think I invested about 400 pages and nine quarts of blood writing it!”

Suranne, talking about playing Christmas Carole in a new update of Dicken’s classic, says, “The script was so good and after Gentleman Jack I really wanted to do a Christmas film that my six-year-old son can watch. It is good and I feel so proud of it. I love it.”

Confirming that Vigil will return for a second season, she says, “There will be another, but I will not be in a submarine locked in small spaces!”    

Naomi, talking about starring as Whitney Houston in I Wanna Dance With Somebody and her American accent, says, “People freaked out when they heard my British voice.  On set I would be talking as Whitney and then afterwards I was like, ‘Bloody hell, that was a hard day innit!’ I had been working on the accent for six months and thought I had it down, then suddenly putting in the fake teeth meant I had to learn it all over again.”

Asked, having made the film, whether it is hard to listen to the singer, she says, “I had to take a break because I really was immersed in her world.  But now I listen to her to remember some of the moments I had filming. It was such a formative time in my life and career that I look back on it fondly.”

Richard, talking about his third novel The Bullet That Missed, and asked what it was like knowing it was going to be a hit, says, “I kind of loved it. I’ve worked in television and have had some flops in the past so one of the nicest things is having a hit.  Knowing people want to read it is a joy.  My mum loved it and she and her friends are now pitching ideas for murders!”

Asked about Stephen Spielberg making the movie of his first book, he says, “The scripts are done.  I am not allowed to say any names of actors that are in the frame but everyone we are talking to has been a guest on this sofa.”

Rina performs Hold The Girl live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat. 

And finally, Graham pulls the lever on more foolhardy audience members brave enough sit in the world-famous red chair to tell their funniest stories. 

The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, Friday 16th December 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.

Graham returns on New Year Eve at 10.55pm, with his guests Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Hugh Laurie, Romesh Ranganathan, Leah Williamson, Callum Scott Howells, and Madeline Brewer.

For further information please contact Mary Collins 07769 670516 or at

16th December 2022