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24 September 2014
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Meg Ryan talks to Parkinson

On Saturday 25 October, Michael Parkinson grapples with the enigmatic Meg Ryan, is told what not to wear by Trinny and Susannah, and talks openly with Albert Square's most loveable rogue, Shane Richie.

In a compelling and revealing interview, Meg Ryan speaks of her reluctance towards being a movie star.

"You can be an actor and not be a movie star. I'm a movie star," Ryan says with a sigh, "seemingly by choice. But sometimes your life chooses you."

Ryan admits that she is a wary interviewee and that life on the front page is not one which suits her.

"It always feels very awkward for me to be in front of an audience or in the spotlight. I'm compelled though."

Filming her new movie, In The Cut, was not an experience Ryan could have put herself through three years ago, she claims.

"I wasn't ready for Jane Campion, the director. Jane is a very strong-minded and uncompromising artist who has a profound interest in investigation."

Asked by Parkinson whether her decision to star in the dark and erotic In The Cut was based on her recent high-profile divorce, Ryan admits: "Life informs artists and helps them negotiate. You can't help but reflect your experience in your work."

As to whether she will once again be the bubbly, all-American star of films such as Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, Ryan says: "Hopefully, I'll never revert, but I am sure I'll become different again in some way. I will move on and evolve."

Earlier in the show, Shane Richie tells Parkinson: "I have waited so long to tell my Mum and Dad and my mates that I'm going on Parky.

"Last Saturday, when you had Billy Connolly and Michael Caine on, I was sat watching the show with my girlfriend. And when at the end you said, 'My guest next week will be Shane Richie', I was, like, 'Yes, it's me'.

"I come from a big Irish family," Richie says. "My dad calls me 'second hand paddy'. I was conceived in Dublin and born in London. My old man called me after the end of last week's show and said in his thick Irish accent, 'Jesus, son, you're on Parky next week. Bloody marvellous'."

Richie speaks fondly of his childhood, admitting that he was once ashamed of his father's career as a road-sweeper.

"I went to school where he used to clean the streets. And I sometimes saw him at lunchtime and I suppose I was embarrassed. You grow up and get a different perspective. But I feel ashamed to have felt that way towards him."

Shane also talks about how much he enjoyed working as a blue-coat in Pontins, even though he had to lie about his age to secure the job.

"Even now to this day, if it all goes belly-up and I had to make a living, I would go back to Pontins," Shane tells Parkinson.

Just when Shane's career was at an all-time high, however, he slumped into a bout of depression and anger.

He reveals: "I lost the plot. I really did. I was doing a hell of a lot. The biggest mistake I made was moving away from home. I was offered a big job in Manchester and I took it. I bought into that lifestyle, everything it had to offer and took it to its limit.

"I was angry. I was blaming other people, anybody I could pin in a corner. And then I started to realise that there was no-one to blame apart from myself. I was too proud to ask for help. I remember being in so much pain.

"Now everything is really good. I'm enjoying my personal life so much," says Shane.

Finally, Parkinson asks Shane whether his character in EastEnders, Alfie Moon, will propose to Cat Slater.

"Out of everything that's been in the press lately, all people want to know is whether I'm going to marry Cat," laughs Shane.

"To be honest with you, Michael, I don't know. And even if I did, I wouldn't tell you."

Also joining Parkinson are the fashion gurus and stars of What Not To Wear, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, who discover during the course of the interview that Shane paints his toenails red, much to his embarrassment.

Trinny, who is due to give birth in two weeks, tells Parkinson that she dreamt she would give birth on the show.

Susannah, who gave birth two weeks ago, admits to wearing, "magic pants. They are concrete knickers, made out of nylon, which hold everything together."

Reflecting on the criticisms they have endured from celebrities such as Carol Vorderman, Trinny and Susannah admit: "We haven't met Carol. If we did get our hands on her, we'd probably get on like a house on fire. We'd maybe change a few things about her, yes. But nothing we say or do is manufactured.

"Love us or loathe us, that's the way we are. You have to remember that we put our professionalism on the line every time we do the show."

Susannah admits to having been "chronically shy" as a child, while Trinny, whose real name is Sarah-Jane, reveals that she got her name because she used to behave just like the girls from St Trinian's.

Now, however, they both relish Parkinson referring to them as "social workers or therapists".

Finally, Trinny and Susannah reveal that in their new project, which focuses on the way in which men dress, they have put Parkinson in the "Suits You, Sir" category and Shane in the "Shiny Suit Brigade" category.

After failing to persuade Parkinson to take his tie off, Trinny and Susannah compliment him for wearing flat-fronted trousers and say that he is, "an unconventional man who dresses in a conventional way."

Live music comes from the young jazz sensation Jamie Cullum, who sings Old Devil Moon and What A Difference A Day Made.

Next week, Michael Parkinson's guests are Emma Thompson, Michael Palin, Rod Stewart and Luciano Pavarotti.

Parkinson is on BBC ONE, Saturday 25 October at 10.25pm.

It is produced by Danny Dignan. The executive producer is Bea Ballard.

Notes to Editors

Cilla joins Parkinson for the first show of his new series (19.09.03)

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.



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