A brand-new season of The Graham Norton Show premieres tonight (April 13) on BBC America at 10/9c. Season 23 kicks off with the stars of the much talked about silent horror film A Quiet Place, real-life married couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski.
We’re sure seasoned host Graham Norton will quickly and hilariously drill down on what to expect from the movie and, per usual, hone in on some as yet unknown behind-the-scenes details. And, of course, he’ll charm guests into revealing more than they meant to — including John’s unusual signature dance move:
Also in the season opener, Graham will catch up with actor Tom Holland and Aussie singer Kylie Minogue.
We can’t get enough of the amiable host, so while we count down the hours until the first new episode airs, let’s look back at some of Graham’s past successes.
1. His guests love him as much as we do
The first season of The Graham Norton Show premiered on Thursday, February 22 in 2007. It was clear from the start this man could hold the attention of a room; actually, in his case, a nation… and beyond. In the first ever episode, Graham interviewed Elijah Wood and Kim Cattrall. He did such a fine job, Cattrall returned three more times.
Here they are talking about Cattrall’s sexed-up role in 2010’s Meet Monica Velour:
2. He shows good judgment
Graham has been around for a while, more than proving his worth. But we can’t say the same for a lot of the audience members who’ve sat in the foreboding Red Chair and attempted to regale Graham and his guests with a great story. Sometimes it’s celebs who say “yay” or “nay,” but for the most part it’s Graham who pulls the eject lever if the tale isn’t worthy, flipping the rejected storyteller and chair backwards and out of sight. Here, audience member Alexi starts a yarn about a road trip during which her grandmother became motion sick so she handed her a “plastic bag.” Graham wasn’t having it and gave Alexi in an early exit..
Check out which other “Wild Stories” did make the cut:
3. He breaks news
In the first episode of season one back in 2007, Graham said, “If you’re thinking, ‘Oh no, I’m missing the news on BBC One,’ not to worry, because I’ll be covering most of the main stories. You know, most of the stories people are talking about…” He went on to riff on celebrity news of the day, like, err, Britney Spears shaving her head. He knows just the kind tantalizing entertainment news that’ll make his audience roar — and yep, he’s even broken stories of international importance. Do you remember where you were when you found out Benedict Cumberbatch can’t say the word penguins? Sitting in front of a TV watching Graham, presumably.
4. He’s not starstruck
Clearly, it’s part of the job for a host to be able to hold his own, no matter the guest. But of course, there are certain A-list celebs who could easily be intimidating. Like, say, Dame Helen Mirren. But, nope, Graham handled the interview brilliantly, teasing out some great anecdotes from Mirren. We loved it when she told the story of how she and fellow actor Liam Neeson lived together in the early days of their careers:
5. He can throw a great roast
Hosting and simultaneously roasting your friends is no easy task. But Graham checks that box too. And which roast did we enjoy the most? That’d be Will & Grace star Eric McCormack‘s. Graham invited Eric and his co-star Debra Messing onto his show to celebrate the revival of their hit show from the ’90s. Next, Graham shocked his guests by pulling out awkward high school yearbook photos. Eric is 15-years-old in his photo but, as Messing points out, “You look 32!” Eric blamed it on not knowing that he was meant to manscape his unibrow. Always the gracious host, Graham wasn’t about to leave Debra unscathed, so out came a photo from her teen years…
6. He takes things in stride
Remember the time Game of Thrones actress — and AHmazing Doctor Who guest star — Maisie Williams told Graham this slightly alarming story? Fans frequently ask Maisie to rattle off her GoT character’s kill list — and add their name to the end of it. She has the list memorized, and delivered it on the show, rounding it off with the moniker of a certain much-loved chat show host. You can see how Graham handled his last-minute inclusion on Arya Stark’s to-kill list in the clip below:
7. He doesn’t hold back with his emotions
We mentioned Graham breaks news and he ALMOST did it again when The Crown‘s Claire Foy was on the show. It had just been announced that a new actress would take over from Claire as Queen Elizabeth II. Graham DID find out that Claire knew who it would be. And she almost slipped up and leaked the name, but, she managed to keep her lips sealed. Just.
The sweetest bit, though, is seeing Graham’s genuine excitement. He was practically jumping out of his chair:
8. Season 22 was just that good
We’re sure you’ve already watched season 22 — possibly more than once! But in case you missed, let’s look back at some of the stand out moments, like the time Harrison Ford couldn’t remember Blade Runner Ryan Gosling‘s name. Luckily, Ryan was there to help Harrison out when he blanked. And we just can’t get enough of this clip in which Rebel Wilson channels Lady Gaga and delivers her version of “Edge of Glory.”
Another of our all-time favorite season 22 moments was Margot Robbie spontaneously tattooing a Graham Norton staffer right then and there on the couch:
9. Season 23 is stuffed full of new and familiar faces
And, if you think you’ve already seen the best of The Graham Norton Show, we’re here to tell you it just gets better. Just check out some of the guests booked for the first three episodes: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Tom Holland, Kylie Minogue, Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Martin Freeman, Roger Daltrey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt LeBlanc, Maxine Peake, Mary Berry and Calvin Harris feat. Due Lipa. And that’s just the start of it; there are 13 episodes total, with guests to be announced as the season rolls out.
And, while we wait for the announcements, check out this clip in which Spider-Man‘s Tom Holland tells Graham how he showed off his dance skills to the one-and-only… Madonna:
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