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Wednesday 23 Jul 2014

Press Release

Graham Norton welcomes Matt LeBlanc, Donald Sutherland, Mary Portas and David Mitchell to his Friday night show

Graham Norton is joined by actor Matt LeBlanc, retail guru Mary Portas, Hollywood legend Donald Sutherland and comedian David Mitchell on his Friday night show this week (14 January).

Talking about his work ethic, Matt reveals: "I hate to say it, and my mom probably won't be too proud, but my favourite thing is to do is absolutely nothing – I'd just sit on the couch for ever if you'd let me." And on his love of big toys, explains: "I have some cool stuff including a full-size bulldozer to play with on my motocross track."

On the huge global success of Friends, Matt says: "You couldn't predict that – it was really fortunate." Talking about his co-stars, he says: "It was '10 years of the funniest joke wins', it was great – there were no egos at all. It was just a fun positive experience." About his character, he adds: "I'm quite a bit different from Joey, but people come up to me on the street and say: 'Hey Joey, how's it going?' and they speak real slow."

Explaining his new role in the BBC comedy Episodes, in which he plays a fictionalised version of himself, he says: "It's a scripted Matt LeBlanc – it's a heightened version of me – he's a little bit different to me – he's a little bit more manipulative, more crass and maybe not as nice. It's good fun and I'm not concerned that people will think that's who I am." And on playing himself, Matt jokes: "Yeah, it's like stealing money!" and adds: "It's fun to poke fun at the fame I was fortunate enough to gain on Friends."

On his early career as a model, Matt says: "I wasn't a very good one. I wasn't very successful – maybe I was too short or the wrong age – and it was too hard. I like to do nothing."

Mary Portas agrees that in her TV shows she, too, is putting on a performance: "It's a heightened version of me. It is different but it is me at the same time." On her new series, in which she goes undercover, she says: "I wanted to be an actress, so this is fun. And you do completely become someone else out there on the high street."

Talking about living with her teenage daughter, she says: "The biggest rows in our house are over her borrowing my clothes or my make-up. She denies she has borrowed something and I point out there is an empty crisp packet in the pocket of my Yves Saint Laurent jacket, and say: 'Right, I'm going to take the best things out of your wardrobe' and I go up there and there's these tiny little mini shorts and I put them on and I look like trash in them and she looks at me like 'you are just pathetic.'"

Graham also welcomes Donald Sutherland on to the sofa, who says: "You never ask a 75-year-old 'How are you?' I am 75 years old and I'm falling apart." On his recent movie roles, he says: "I die quickly – I do these days. If I don't have a terminal disease or have a heart attack, they shoot me."

Having made more than 150 movies, Donald says: "My love of acting stems from the pursuit of truth. It's a hard job, but I love it and I try to get as close to the entity of something as possible – it's a joy when you achieve it."

On his many skills, he claims breaking wind is one of his best: "I can fart on will. It's a skill my mother had – she was hard of hearing so couldn't hear herself. My wife will probably kill me for saying this, but she is a much better farter than me."

David Mitchell talks about his new satirical series, 10 O'clock Live, and jokes: "In many ways the nation's misery is the show's strength. So I will be hoping for terrible times for Britain."

Matt also gamely takes part in a demonstration of a new beer dispensing machine and gallantly helps Mary out with a fashion malfunction.

And, finally, Graham pulls the lever on foolhardy members of the audience brave enough to sit in the red chair and one story-teller reveals she is a blast from Donald's past.

The Graham Norton Show, Friday 14 January at 10.35pm on BBC One.

Notes to Editors

All quotes in this release were said during the show's recording and won't necessarily appear in the final show.

Next week (Friday 21 January), Graham's guests include Vince Vaughn, Sarah Millican and Diddy.

CP

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