Graham Norton meets Laura Linney, Dawn French, Adrian Edmondson, London Hughes and the Sugababes

This week (13th October), Graham welcomes triple-Oscar-nominated Hollywood star Laura Linney, comedian and writer Dawn French, funny man Adrian Edmondson, stand-up  and actor London Hughes, and girl-band Sugababes.

Laura Linney sings Dame Maggie Smith’s praises, Dawn French recalls one of her most embarrassing moments, Adrian Edmondson says he and Rik Mayall were insane, London Hughes talks about success in the US, and Sugababes perform live in the studio,

Laura, talking about her new film The Miracle Club, and asked how she is able to promote it given the actors’ strike in the US, she says, “Smaller production companies have been granted an interim agreement.  We had hoped for good news today but there has been a big blow with talks breaking down.  I hope it can resolve soon because it is heart-breaking for all of us.”

Talking about working with Dame Maggie Smith in the new film, she says, “She was a big reason for me to do the movie.  She is a titan and every second I had with her I adored.  They say don’t meet your heroes, but I was lucky because she is extraordinary.  It was a real privilege and a total joy.”

Dawn, talking about her new book The Twat Files, says, “I suppose I’m trying to start up an anti-perfection league.  We carry a lot of shame, humiliation, and guilt about our mistakes, and I thought, ‘These mistakes are where I have learnt the most and where the fun is.’  So, if you can wrangle back some of that shame and shine a light on it, it dissipates.  If you own your mistakes, it’s very empowering.”

Recalling one particularly embarrassing moment, she says, “I received an invite to the James Bond premiere.  It was a big deal but red carpets are not my thing so I thought it would be funny to send my PA a response that would make her laugh, and then she could send a polite ‘no’ on my behalf.  I wrote, with lots of swearing, ‘This will be another wanky red carpet events be full of the usual twats and I would rather have my eyes pecked out by diseased pigeons and my breasts gnawed off by rabid wild dogs.’  I was a bit surprised a couple of minutes later to get an email from the PR department that had sent the invite, saying, ‘Thank you for your speedy response – we totally understand’  Oh dear, I was so embarrassed!”

Adrian, talking about his autobiography Berserker!, and reminiscing about his double act with Rik Mayall, says, “Ours was a dangerous partnership – we called our stuff ‘absolute bollocks at 100 miles an hour.’  It was about hysteria and that meant hitting each other.  There was an awful lot of stunt work.”

Asked about The Young Ones, he says, “People thought they had seen nothing Ike it, but I just thought we, as a double act, were in a long line from Laurel and Hardy, Morecambe and Wise and Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore.  In our heads we were Wylie Coyote and Roadrunner, but now when I see it, I think we were insane!”

London, talking about her memoir Living My Best Life, Hun, and asked why she wanted to go to America for work, says, “I had to go.  I made the decision because I felt there was a glass ceiling in the UK for women, and women of colour in comedy.  I thought I would never reach my full potential unless I went and tried.”  Adding jokingly, “And, I killed it!”

Asked if she has had any luck finding a man in America, she says, “Dating is terrible in LA.  I went out with a guy who said he was a director, and it was only after two weeks that I found out he was a funeral director!”

Sugababes perform their new single When The Rain Comes, live in the studio, before joining Graham for a chat.

Talking about being back together and asked if they knew fans would still want to see them, Keisha says, “We always worry they won’t turn up, but then we get an amazing response.”

Siobhán says, “We love what we do, and it has been better this time around.  It hasn’t been easy, and we’ve all had those moments of giving up but thankfully not at the same time!”

Mutya adds, “We thought, ‘Why give up?  We love music, we invest in ourselves, and we are independent.’”

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 13th 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 (20th October) Graham’s guests include Dame Joan Collins, Patrick Stewart, Ralph Fiennes, Nadiya Hussain, Bella Ramsey, and Zak Abel.

For further information please contact Mary Collins 07769 670516 or at 

13th October 2023