Friday 01 Aug 2014
In a "royal" line up on this week's show, Graham Norton meets Oscar-winning actress and star of The Queen, Dame Helen Mirren, star of Young Victoria, Emily Blunt, comedian Ed Byrne and chart-topping boy band The Wanted.
Helen, talking about her new film, Brighton Rock, jokes: "I only took the role so I could play a red head." Asked by Graham if there is danger in messing with a classic, she says: "It's always bad to do a remake, people are ready with their knives to eat you up, but the director has done a great job in bringing the film and the book to a new generation."
Asked whether The Queen had seen the film in which Helen starred as the monarch, she says: "I don't know and I don't think we should know. The film has come up, as she has introduced me as, ‘This is Helen Mirren who played me.' I wouldn't have been invited [to the event] if she hadn't liked it. It was a sort of an approval, but we didn't talk about the film at all."
On Young Victoria, Emily says: "The Queen has seen that film, and I heard she really enjoyed it and wanted to know what happened next!"
Helen describes the year in which she played both Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II and won an Oscar as: "My amazing year" and adds: "after that year I thought, ‘that's it, I don't have to try any more. I can kind of take it easy now.'" She adds: "Having success at that point in my life was great. It's brilliant to have it happen towards the end of my career rather than at the beginning and I'm really grateful for that."
Agreeing that Prime Suspect was "a gift", Helen says: "You don't know when you start on a project what the end result is going to be, but the great thing about Prime Suspect is that it got me through that age thing. I could grow up, grow old, be real and I didn't have to pretend to be anything I wasn't. The fact then that it was a great success was fantastic."
Admitting she learnt French as a child to meet boys, Helen says: "Wonderful Parisian students would come to Southend obviously thinking it was going to be like St Tropez! I was a complete Francophile and thought everything French was just so cool and smart and elegant and hip and I was desperate to get a French boyfriend... and I did." Helen reveals she recently tracked him down: "Thanks to the internet, I googled him, found him and sent him an email and within 24 hours we were back in touch after 40 years."
Contrary to popular belief, Emily reveals she is not fluent in French and says: "I get really nervous speaking French and I actually had a stutter when I was a kid and I still stutter when I have to speak French," before recounting the painful experience of having to order a taxi in Paris.
Talking about her new movie, Gnomeo And Juliet which is executive produced by Elton John, Emily says: "I didn't meet any of the other stars of the film and only met Elton a week ago."
Ed talks about his recent fatherhood, his wife's pregnancy and ageing and says: "I've been old since I was 22." He also admits to being a nerd and reveals: "My name is an anagram of 'be nerdy' and I was delighted to discover that."
The Wanted perform All Time Low live in the studio.
And finally, Helen describes Graham as Judge Jeffries as he pulls the lever on foolhardy members of the audience brave enough to sit in the red chair.
The Graham Norton Show, Friday 4 February at 10.35pm on BBC One.
Next week (Friday 11 February), Sigourney Weaver, Professor Brian Cox, Sandi Toksvig and Sugarland join Graham on the show.
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