Here's when the new Graham Norton series starts, and how the show will work during coronavirus lockdown

Friday, 10th April 2020, 3:59 pm
Updated Friday, 10th April 2020, 3:59 pm

The Graham Norton Show returns to our screens for the first time since the lockdown tonight (10 April).

The BAFTA award-winning talk show follows Have I Got News For You in the Friday night schedules, which prompted a mixed response from viewers after its reinvention last week in a split-screen format described as “a more elaborate video-conference.”

So how exactly will it all work in the age of social distancing?

The energetic Irish chat-meister can always be relied on to add to the merriment of the nation, so here's everything you need to know:

Who are the guests, and how will the show work?

Producers of the BBC1 series admitted that the chat show would look “a little different” under social isolation rules, with the host interviewing celebrity guests remotely from his home.

Michael Bublé joins the host from the basement of his home in Canada. Talking about being in the middle of a tour when the lockdown happened, Bublé says on the show, “It’s not much different to when we went through our own family health scare and very quickly the work loses its meaning.

"For me, doing the right thing was the only option. 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.”

But Instead of the banter between sofa-sharing guests, singer Bublé will share screen time from Vancouver with actor Michael Sheen as well as Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard, stars of Sky One comedy Breeders, speaking from their respective homes.

Martin says, “It’s not cuddly. We thought that there was room in the world for a comedy that was still a comedy but is quite dark and unflinching about the harder parts of being a parent in a family situation.”

And asked about the strong language in the series, he adds jokingly, “Apparently you are not supposed to swear in front of kids!

“Actually, there were two versions of the script – a mild one for in front of the kids and then another sweary version that they had to wear headphones for.”

Sheen, joining Norton from Wales, talks about his role as Chris Tarrant in new ITV drama Quiz, which tells the story of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire coughing major.

Rising singer Celeste will perform from her bedroom.

Norton said of the show, “We can’t wait to be back on Friday nights bringing a little bit of lightness during this strange time.”

What about The Big Red Chair?

The Red Chair segment lives on; the tipping furniture has apparently now been relocated to storytellers’ homes...

When can I watch it?

Norton’s show has been reduced in length - it will now run for only 30 minutes - and scheduled at an earlier 9pm time slot, to help give the nation some light relief.

The Graham Norton Show beings on BBC One at 9pm on Friday 10 April