As the UK lockdown continues, all sorts of TV shows are having to get a little creative to bring entertainment to the nation, and Friday night chat show The Graham Norton Show is chief among them.
For this series, the programme is moving to a new slot – 9:00pm – and a shorter runtime as Graham interviews guests virtually from home, beginning in the first episode with singer Michael Bublé, actors Michael Sheen, Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard and musician Celeste, who’ll perform her new single.
“We can’t wait to be back on Friday nights bringing a little bit of lightness during this strange time,” Norton said in a release, before getting stuck into the usual mix of chat and games.
During recording, Bublé revealed his difficulties in home schooling his kids, as well as the tough decision he made to cancel his tour halfway through due to the coronavirus epidemic.
“For me, doing the right thing was the only option,” he says. “I think I was one of the first artists to pull the plug and felt horrible about it, but I know I will make up the shows. The day they say, ‘We are all good’ I’ll be back on stage.”
Later, Freeman and Haggard joined Norton to discuss their new Sky comedy series Breeders, before Welsh actor Michael Sheen popped up to chat about his role playing Chris Tarrant in ITV Who Wants to Be a Millionaire drama Quiz (and trying a few questions on Graham himself).
“Usually the real people I have played are the lead character but in this one Chris is supporting so there is just the same amount of work to get it right without much (material) to play with,” he said.
Finally, singer Celeste “transforms her bedroom into a glamorous venue” to show off her new single Strange, before Norton sees if any audience members are brave (or foolhardy) enough to try the Big Red Chair challenge from their own homes, before sending a few of them tumbling.
The more things change, the more things stay the same…
The Graham Norton Show airs at 9:00pm on BBC One on Fridays