In the first show of his new series (21st April), Graham welcomes Hollywood actor Stanley Tucci, star of screen and stage Kim Cattrall, comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, and British band Years and Years.
Stanley, talking about making his home in London with his wife Felicity Blunt, says, “I love it here.” Asked if he misses New York, he says, “My wife is British and we ended up moving here. It was time to go.”
Asked who he based his Hunger Games character Caesar Flickerman on, Stanley admits Graham may have been an influence, “When you create a character you steal and cull from all sources. He’s a cross between Wayne Newton and Jiminy Glick and there’s a little piece of you Graham – the intelligence!”
Talking about his new cookery book The Tucci Table, which he describes as, “An English/American mishmash,” Stanley says, “I just love to cook.” Jokingly adding, “Felicity’s sausage rolls are so good she can’t make them any more because I’d be dead of a heart attack.”
Asked if it’s true that he fell out with Meryl Streep, while filming cookery scenes for the movie Julie & Julia, he says, “No not at all. We thought it would be a good idea to get together before filming to try a few recipes. We set a date and invited friends for 7.30pm. We were still shopping at 6.30pm and we ate at three in the morning, but there was lots of wine and we had a great time!”
Kim, talking about her own love of cooking reveals she has been signed up for the next Bake Off for Comic Relief, “It was quite a strange thing. It was the first time I’d been offered something like that on Twitter. I tweet all the time and Emma Freud tweeted me and asked me to do the Bake Off. She threw down the gauntlet and I said, ‘yes.’ I’ll just take a lot of wine and have fun.” Reminded that Paul Hollywood is a fellow Liverpudlian she says, “I can make Scouse with him.”
Revealing why her new TV series Sensitive Skin, is close to her own heart, Kim says, “I desperately wanted to do it because it is about a woman going through a mid life crisis and I was going through a midlife crisis at the time. I wanted to do it before that was over!”
Asked if she’s come to terms with the fact that she will always be know as Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, she says, “I just loved playing her, she was so courageous and the thing I love about her the most was that she was not judgmental and she’d always come up with a positive way of looking at life. With all four characters we were breaking new ground for women in a very original way.”
Asked if she thinks there will be a third SATC movie, she says, “I really don’t know. I have no idea,” adding, “It would be great, but who knows, you never know.” Pressed further, she adds, “For the other two films we were literally the last to know. The films made money so that’s always a good sign.”
Harry and Paul, who reprise some of their best-known characters during the show, reveal their fan still shout out their catch phrases at them, Harry says, “I get ‘Loads of Money’ shouted more than anything and it’s been nearly 30 years.” Paul adds, “It’s probably ‘Suit you Sir’ for me.”
Talking about their upcoming tour, which celebrates 25 years together, Paul says, “We’ve written about an hour of it and it will include our greatest hits and all the old characters.” Harry adds jokingly, “We have kept on saying we would do it and then Paul was ill so we thought we had better do it before he dies. We’ve just signed contracts that say if one of us dies during the show, the other one gets all the money!”
Years and Years perform ‘King’ live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.
And finally, Graham pulls the lever on more foolhardy audience members brave enough to sit in the Red Chair.
The Graham Norton Show, BBC Entertainment, 21 April at 9:40pm