This week (15th December), Graham welcomes star of stage and screen Imelda Staunton, Northern Irish star Jamie Dornan, Scottish actor Jack Lowden, new Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa, and American singer songwriter Gregory Porter.
Imelda Staunton says she was inconsolable when The Queen died, Jamie Dornan talks about doing his own stunts, Jack Lowden reveals an unlikely passion, Ncuti Gatwa says the Whovians have found him, and Gregory Porter performs live in the studio.
Imelda, talking about playing Queen Elizabeth in the final episodes of The Crown, says, “Everyone knows this version of her, so it felt very present, and I felt a bit more pressure. In this final six episodes there are particular issues that she faced at this point in her reign, which dramatically is interesting to play – Margaret has gone, The Queen Mother, and we have Charles and Camilla.”
Talking more about the production, and asked about her version of The Queen’s address to the nation on the eve of Diana’s funeral, she says, “I was listening to it every moment of every day for I don’t know how long. When we came to do it, I didn’t talk to anyone because it was a very serious moment and a serious time, and I thought I would try and recreate that. It was very still on set, and I got lost in the moment.”
Asked if she was filming when The Queen died, she says, “Lesley Manville and I were filming and were told there might be some sad news and were asked if we wanted to carry on. We carried on and finished the day. Weirdly in the schedule I had 10 days off which was the 10 days of mourning. I was inconsolable that night. Obviously, I would have been sad, but I think it was fuelled by living with her for so long. I think when I went back to work people found it hard looking at me.”
Jamie, talking about the new series of amnesia thriller The Tourist, says, “There wasn’t meant to be a second series. It was sold to me as a one off but then a lot of people watched it. I took a bit of convincing and the only way I agreed to do it was not to film in Australia again. Five months there with the family was a lot to do again so I said that if there was a world where we could make it make sense in Ireland then I would do it. The first series was in the Australian outback, so the show has a different landscape and a different feel.”
Asked about all the stunts he did, he says, “I was knackered. For the first two weeks I was just running – I was wrecked.”
Jack interjects, “There was a lot of chasing in Slow Horses – I ran a lot. In fact, it felt like I existed from one run to the next and everything in the middle was filler!”
Talking about the hit spy drama, and asked about doing his own stunts, Jack says, “I love the fight scenes. Being an actor is not a hard thing compared to what others do and I hate going home having done nothing. Being beaten up feels like I have done something manly!” Adding, “In one scene my character jumps off a landing and hurts his ankle. For some reason no one could ever remember which foot it was, so I switched from scene to scene and by the end I was vaguely limping on both sides.”
Revealing a rather niche passion, he says, “I love service stations – they play a big part in my life. I know it is geeky, but I have always been fascinated by them. They are not the destination, so you get to see people in this wonderful moment of rest and respite and transition. I always drive myself to filming and love the time to myself and stop at my favourite stations. People, particularly men, seem to love them.”
Ncuti, talking about being the new Doctor Who, says, “This is the first time The Doctor is bi-generation and has split in two. It was useful that David (Tennant) didn’t die and that he was around because I could copy him.”
Asked about the action scenes, he says, “I like physical theatre and got to do a lot. I am a very energetic doctor. I was showing off on the first day, with lots of acrobatics but they all got cut out!”
Talking about the Whovians, he says, “They’ve found me. They are a very dedicated and passionate fan base!”
Asked if he will be watching his first show on Christmas day, he says, “I will but it is nerve wracking and I know my dad will give me notes!”
Gregory Porter performs Christmas Wish live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.
Asked about his first Christmas album, he says, “I always thought my voice was right for one and wanted to do one very early on in my career, but I was told no. Now the time is right.”
Talking about the inspiration for Christmas Wish, he says, “My mother would cook Christmas dinner and then she would make us eight children load it up and give it away to the homeless on the streets. We would then have the leftovers. That’s who she was.”
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 15th 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 will be back on Sunday 31st December on BBC One at 10.25pm with his traditional, much-loved New Year’s Eve show when he will take a look back at some of the most memorable stories, people, and events of 2023 with the help of Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Claudia Winkleman, Rob Brydon, and Ezra Collective.
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15th December 2023