Graham Norton meets Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Dua Lipa, Adrian Lester and Justin Timberlake

On this week’s show (23rd February), Graham welcomes Oscar-winning actors Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett, award-winning singer-songwriter Dua Lipa, Hustle star Adrian Lester, and pop superstar Justin Timberlake.

Kate Winslet says she was completely terrified to play a dictator, Cate Blanchett talks about playing a nun, Dua Lipa hints at her new album, Adrian Lester reveals his hidden talents, and Justin Timberlake performs live in the studio

Kate, talking about her new satirical drama The Regime, says, “It really is very funny, and we wet ourselves laughing every day.  After Covid, being in a pack of actors was overwhelming – we had all missed that sense of just playing when you get into a room and fire off each other.  It was just a great experience.”

Asked if she felt confident going into the role, she says, “I never feel confident.  It was completely terrifying.  I have never played a character like this before.  She is so absurd and really just nuts.  I knew that I was going to have to try and find a way to do something I have never done before.  Every single day I was like, ‘Come on, you can do it.’  It was such a wild ride.”

Talking more about the character, and asked if she is based on anyone, Kate says, “I wish I could tell you that I did, but I was too scared to do that, so I just made up my own stuff.  I couldn’t draw a comparison to anybody I know because she is such an invention.  I have never come across anyone like her.”

Cate interjects jokingly, “I think I saw a soupcon of Liz Truss in there.”  To which Kate laughingly responds, “People will take from it what they will.” 

Talking about her new film, Australian period drama The New Boy, Cate says, “I am fascinated by the clash of indigenous spirituality and the industrial complex that is Catholicism.  I always wanted to play a nun, and this is my first one.  I hope it’s not my last.” 

Asked about the beauty of the Australia scenery in the film, she says, “It is incredible.  The landscape is a real character, it’s extraordinary.  We were in the middle of nowhere and I love how benign the landscape look, that you can walk into long grass and not think about anything.  In reality, the fear of walking into a wheat field and stepping on a Brown snake is huge, yet you have to run with spiritual joy.  Now that is acting!”

Talking about magical moments the film, Adrian reveals he mastered hypnosis when he was young. “It’s just a way of switching off the conscious brain to talk to the subconscious,” before he explains hypnotism. 

Revealing that they are often mistaken for one another, Kate and Cate share their recent encounters with fans.  Cate says, “I get it all they time.  People will say, ‘Is it you? Is it you?’ and I say, ‘Yes I think so.’ and then they say, ‘I loved you in Titanic.’”  Kate adds, “I get people coming up to me saying, ‘I loved you in Elizabeth.’ It happens a lot.”

Dua, discussing her latest work, and the release of a second single ahead of a new album, says, “An album will be out soonish.  I haven’t announced the title yet, but a big part of it will be more organic with live instrumentation.”

Asked about appearing in Barbie, she says, “It’s very embarrassing to talk about it while sitting on a sofa with major legendary actors, but I am very proud of it, and it was so much fun.” 

Talking about the song Dance the Night, she says, “Initially we wrote it based on what Greta (Gerwig) told us about the film and we were leaning towards Barbie’s existential crisis and thoughts of death.  It was quite dark.  Then we got to see  the film and I had changed it up a bit, so we decided to write the song like a score following the dance moves.  The whole soundtrack is amazing.”

Asked about her youth, she says, “I moved back to London from Kosovo on my own when I was 15 because there were more opportunities in music in London.  It was a good time.”  Asked if that was too young, she says, “I am very close to my parents who put a lot of trust in me, so I was as good as possible.   My family keeps me grounded in all the madness.”

Adrian, talking about his new historical action series Renegade Nell, says, “It is really good fun. It’s very different for Sally Wainwright.  She’s put political intrigue, sprites, magic, lots of fighting, highway robbery, and Regency England in a big pot, gave it a stir and out came an amazing idea.  It is really good writing and I have a really good time being bad.”

Reminded that Hustle started 20 years ago, and asked if there are any plans to  revive the show, he says, “I can’t believe it was so long ago.  There are no plans to celebrate, but they keep talking about ideas for a re-boot, but it’s not quite taken off yet.”

Asked about being a Black Belt in Taekwondo, Adrian demonstrates his rather impressive Nunchuck skills to the slight alarm of Kate, Cate and Dua.

Justin performs his new single Selfish live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.

Asked about the inspiration for the title of his new album Everything I Thought It Was, he says, “I’ve been working since I was 10 and have never taken time to reflect and be thankful for everything I have.  I am full of gratitude to have shared so much time with my children over the past six years and I am incredibly grateful for this life.  I am very happy.”

Justin announces that his new tour will now take in the UK and Europe.

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 23rd February 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 March) Graham hosts Eurovision 2024: Graham meets Olly a BBC special with UK entrant Olly Alexander. 

On Friday 8th and 15th March Graham hosts compilation shows of highlights from the recent series, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Dame Judi Dench, Ncuti Gatwa, Kylie Minogue, Timothée Chalamet, Cher, Jay Blades, Greta Lee, Miriam Margolyes, and many more.

For further information please contact Mary Collins 07769 670516 or at 

23rd February 2024