Graham Norton meets Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Saunders, Daisy Haggard, Phil Wang and Take That

This week (24th November), Graham welcomes Hollywood star Michael Fassbender, comedy legend Jennifer Saunders, Back to Life star Daisy Haggard, top comic Phil Wang, and pop supergroup Take That.

Michael Fassbender talks about his love of motor racing, Jennifer Saunders says playing Hook is so much fun, Daisy Haggard recalls an embarrassing moment, Phil Wang says his new show is the silliest yet, and Take That perform live in the studio.

Michael, talking about his four years away from acting while indulging his love of endurance motor racing, says, “It’s an obsession and feels so right as I have no affinity with any other sport.  I am super addicted, and I want to go back and do Le Mans again – it was extraordinary.  It’s not just about the speed, it is about getting into a place where you’re not thinking of anything else.  I love it.”

Asked about his new football comedy Next Goal Wins, which tells the real-life story of American Samoa’s men’s football team – infamously, one of the world’s worst, he says, “I’m not good at football so I’m not casting any judgement on their ability.  I loved the story and their positivity, tenacity, and resilience.  They are inspiring.” 

Recalling the preparation he undertook to play their cantankerous coach, he says, “I just Googled, ‘Coaches losing it!’”

Jennifer, talking about her panto debut as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the London Palladium, says, “I’m hoping for a large moustache, lots of booing and hissing.  It is such fun and a huge cavalcade of filth.  Parents will love it!”

Asked about swashbuckling as Hook, she says, “I was allowed a sword, but I am not sure a 65-year-old woman should have one – I forget all the choreography and poor Peter Pan has to be quite jaunty to miss being hit!”

Daisy, talking about real life husband Joe Wilson, who appears with her in the BBC drama Boat Story, says, “He plays my sex pest!  His character has to send me dick pics.  When he got the role, he got a phone call from the production office asking for a picture of his face so they could pick the right penis to match!  When I saw the pictures, it was such a shock that I screamed!”

Recalling another unfortunate phone moment, she says, “I was chatting with a girlfriend about how her bottom looked so, as a joke, I took a picture of my own bum to send to her.  The next day I realised I had accidentally sent it to the new producer of Breeders.  I told him it was my friend’s bottom, and he didn’t say a word.  I finally confessed that it was mine after filming ended and when he said he knew it was mine it was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life.”

Phil, talking about his show Wang In There, Baby! Says, “It’s my silliest show so far, and a recovery from the seriousness of the pandemic years.”

Asked about the differences between British audiences and those in America and Australia, he say, “In the States and Australia the audiences really want you to do well, and there is a lot of clapping, whereas British audiences just say, ‘That was quite good actually.’”

And on having a part in the new Wonka movie, he says, “I can’t tell you much about it, but I get to sing and dance.  It is very exciting.  I can tell you than I was dancing on a table, and it cracked in half, and I broke my arm. After I spoke to my mum who happens to be a bone doctor, Timothée Chalamet joked, ‘That’s a lucky break!’”

Take That performs Windows live in the studio before Gary, Mark and Howard join Graham for a chat about her new album and upcoming tour.

Asked about performing together, Gary says, “This is our third studio album as a trio and we have been together since 2014, its nearly 10 years and something to celebrate.’

Joking about aging, Howard says, “We are all now in our 50s and have to have a pre warm up and a post warm up.”  Mark interjects, ‘It’s just about keeping warm!”

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 24th November 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 (1st December) Graham’s guests include Julia Roberts. Tom Hanks, Timothée Chalamet, and Cher

For further information please contact Mary Collins 07769 670516 or at 

24th November 2023