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The Jonathan Ross Show

  • Episode: 

    10 of 12

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Sat 04 Nov 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    10.05pm - 11.10pm
  • Week: 

    Week 45 2017 : Sat 04 Nov - Fri 10 Nov
  • Channel: 

  • Amended: 

    Fri 03 Nov 2017
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Show 10
DAVID WALLIAMS on his OBE and crush on Simon Cowell
JODIE FOSTER on Weinstein and her acting career
DEBBIE HARRY & CHRIS STEIN on their relationship, friendship and working with legends like Iggy Pop and David Bowie
ROISIN CONATY on working in America
On this week’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show - which airs on Saturday night on ITV - Jonathan is joined by TV judge and author, David Walliams; American actress, Jodie Foster; iconic band, Blondie and stand up and TV star, Roisin Conaty.
Britain’s Got Talent judge, David Walliams, joined the sofa and spoke to Jonathan about being given an OBE.
On receiving the honour from Princess Anne, he said: “I took my mother and I took my two nephews, Eddie and Frankie who are 11 and six. They found it quite boring. Because it’s a prize giving day basically and no one else can hear the conversations going on. It was great. It’s a really nice day out. But they had to sit there for about three hours. It was really lovely meeting all the other people from other walks of life who genuinely deserve it because we are over-rewarded in show business. And so you meet people who are surgeons or people who have done things in charity fields so it’s very inspiring.”
And on how he celebrated, David said: “I went for lunch and I invited you but you couldn’t come. I actually invited Simon Cowell and he said ‘Do you think I want to go and celebrate with you while you get an honour?’ I went, ‘Well you might.’ He was like, ‘You think I would be pleased for you?’ Because he is very competitive and he thinks that he should get a knighthood. He wants to go straight to the knighthood. I mean maybe one day. Who knows how they make these decisions… I suppose if enough people thought he should get one. But it would be annoying if it was Sir Simon Cowell. OBE is nice but if someone is a Sir or a Dame you have to call them that so it’s a bit like it’s heralding their arrival. He would not be shy [about asking people to call him ‘Sir Simon’] so I hope and pray that he never gets an honour,” he laughed. 
He later spoke about working with Simon on ITV favourite, Britain’s Got Talent: “We start as soon as Simon is back from being on a boat with Sinitta and all of his exes… I’ve been on board the boat. It’s rented so it’s not his but it’s nice,” he joked, “I don’t really want to be part of the harem, I’ll be honest with you, I’m worth more than that. I like to make him squirm… It’s hard not to have a bit of a crush on him, he is a star so you get quite excited when he is around. I have a little bit of a crush on him but we do have fun together. Someone said last series, because we’d sit together and have our dinner together, ‘You’re like brothers together.’ It was quite sweet because there is a nice side to him.”
And on David’s mum baking Simon a cake, David explained: “Simon said, ‘Get your mum to bake me a Victoria Sponge cake.’ And then she brought it in and he tasted it and went, ‘Mm, bit dry.’ My mum was really quite crushed. He couldn’t help judging it.”
Speaking about his close relationship with his mum, he said: “I’m very close to my mum… It’s a wonderful thing, at the end of the day - and we were talking about the OBE - the person whose approval you want most is your parents. My dad died about 10 years ago. Everything I do in some way I’m hoping that my mum will like it… I always think my mum is prouder than me of my achievements. When I got the letter about my OBE I didn’t tell her, I just showed her the letter and she went ‘Oh’ and it went on for about two minutes because she couldn’t actually speak.”
David has dedicated his most recent book to his son, Alfred. Speaking about his son he said: “That’s the wonderful thing about writing books, you get to dedicate them to people. When I try and read him my books, he goes, ‘No no no.’ So i just go, ‘Okay fine’ so we read something else. He is into things like The Gruffalo and Dr Seuss. I take it really seriously and I do the voices like I’m doing an audio book. When I read to him I make it like it’s a performance… I do voices.”
Later in the show, David - who swam the channel for charity - admitted he wants to give it another go for Comic Relief when he is 70: “I’d like to be the oldest celebrity to do something like that. I’d like to get to about 70 as an old man and be just an old guy having it a go. I always thought it would be incredible if an older entertainer, unfortunately he has left us now but if Bruce Forsyth or someone like that, had done something like that. It would have been incredible.”
American actress and director, Jodie Foster, joined the show and spoke to Jonathan about her family.
Speaking about embarrassing her teenage sons, Jodie admitted: “I think I can have a little bit of rigour but we have a good time. I like to dress up and do voices and they’re really embarrassed by me… Early on they couldn’t watch [my movies] and they were completely disinterested. They had no interest in watching my movies. Now things have changed a little bit, they’re a bit more into it… Most of the time if they didn’t appreciate the performance, they just leave or look on their phone or go to the bathroom and disappear.”
Jodie spoke about working in the industry as an actor for so long and why she moved into directing: “I love movies but 52 years in the business is a long, long time. I get burned out and it’s a long time to do one thing and I do think directing has become an evolution from acting, it is the best film school in the world, working with amazing directors… I feel like I’m on movie sets and I’m still making films I’m just making them with a different mouthpiece.”
Jodie also spoke about the topic of gender in Hollywood and the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal. Asked if she had ever encountered any of that type of behaviour, she replied: “I think it would be very difficult to find any woman in this audience that hasn’t had some brush with inappropriate sexual stuff happening in the workplace. That is a foundation of our life as women. It is something that we have dealt with our whole lives. It happens in every industry whether it’s the Supreme Court in the United States or the Presidency or the guy next door, men, women, old, young, it is everywhere. And I think this is a moment of consciousness in the world. I think that’s a watershed moment that we should all pay attention to, that there are places and there are people that you can talk to and watching and listening to these amazing narratives by really smart, interesting, accomplished women, not just talking about some pig in the bathrobe but talking about what it is to be raised as a woman and how small brushes that you have with being demoralised and being put upon have such effect and I think it’s a great time for people to become conscious.”
And on how she has seen women’s roles progress in the film industry over her career, she said: “Little by little there are more women technicians, there were more roles for women as I became older but we have a long way to go, especially with women directors. It’s really happening in the indie business which is nice, it’s really happening in television, it’s really happening in Europe but for some reason, mainstream movies there really are so few women directors and that does not seem to be changing fast… I don’t think it’s a plot or a conspiracy people have, I think nobody is paying attention and I think that people don’t realise the kind of profiling and race psychology that they apply to the risks that they take. Movies are big risks. The bigger the movie, the more the financial strata says we want to keep the risk small and for some reason women are risks, I don’t know why that is.”
She later spoke about Silence of the Lambs and why she wasn’t involved in the sequel: “I wasn’t available… It’s a really good film and it came from a great book and when everybody on your film whether it’s the Director of Photography or the Sound Man when you’re inspired by something wonderful I think you do better work than you’ll ever do again and maybe that’s our fear that we’ll never be as good as we were in that movie. I’m really proud of that one.”
On working with Anthony Hopkins in the film, she said: “I guess there was kind of a tension because he was scary. We did a rehearsal together and he was scary and so we never kind of spoke again. As you can see, in almost every scene there was glass between us. He told me at the end of the movie, I said ‘I was a little scared of you that’s why we never spoke’ and he said ‘I was scared of you!’”
Jodie also spoke about her mother and influence from their relationship seen in the episode of Black Mirror that she has directed: “When we talk about my Black Mirror episode that I just directed, it is very much about a mother daughter relationship and that kind of beautiful and troubling symbiotic bond between the two and I feel that has a lot of personal relevance to my own life.”
She continued: “We are very close. She is not really with us in the mind but she has dementia but I think she is very content in her life. She watches a lot of movies and she eats a lot of food. So they are two things that she always loved. I don’t think [she still recognises me] and that’s hard and also really beautiful to be able to know that at the end of your parent's’ life that you are there for them and that you are the last face that they will ever see. I think that is a gift. They gave you this tremendous gift and you get to give that back to them over the course of their life and that’s a wonderful thing too, it’s painful but it’s wonderful.”
She also spoke about whether she might act again: “I’m really excited about acting in my seventies. I think that there are some crack ass roles for women in their seventies and I am going to have all the wrinkles and stuff so I’m going to be the Grandma next door. That’s going to be me.”
From the iconic band, Blondie, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein joined the sofa and spoke to Jonathan about maintaining their friendship and being back together as a band.
On how the pair met, before Blondie was formed, Chris explained: “I went to the first Stilettos show [Debbie’s previous band] and the stage was a board on a pool table or something like that, it was primitive. I was really taken with this one and shortly thereafter I became the first steady musician they had.”
Debbie added: “We became friends, then amorative of each other… We had a good working relationship and it just grew naturally. We shared similar tastes and ideas and we were doing it.”
On how they have maintained a friendship, Chris said, “Yes she is my close buddy… We have a similar connection, mind set or something.”
Debbie added: “I don’t know, it seems easy. It’s always been my opinion that if you spend that much time with a person, you shouldn’t throw that away. It’s like throwing away a piece of your life and we shouldn’t do that. There’s value, there’s disagreements… but somehow the humour always stayed through it all.”
And on being comfortable back with the band after enjoying solo success, Debbie said: “It is very comforting to be with my band and it’s special. I think that when you establish a sound and the combination of elements, it;s sort of a miracle. The same instruments are used all over the place to make the same sounds but yet it comes out sounding unique.”
On touring with Iggy Pop at a period when David Bowie was working with him, Chris said: “It was a really great moment. It was our first big tour, coming out and running around the country with them was just great. These guys were our heroes even then, certainly... Bowie was really in the background which was an awesome thing. He was not pushing his celebrity.”
Debbie added: “They were mentors in a nice way, in a crazy way as well. They were of course genuine real rock and rollers but also showmen and they would just give us tips.”
On David and Iggy expressing an interest in ‘getting to know Debbie better’ when Chris wasn’t around, she joked: “Well, I am writing a book.”
Stand up comic and TV star, Roisin Conaty, joined the sofa and spoke to Jonathan about working in America and things getting lost in translation.
She said: “I am a little bit worried people won’t understand me. I was in a meeting in LA with quite a senior person at a comedy channel and I was just speaking and he kept going to his assistant, ‘What is she saying?’ while I was sitting at the table. And I just got a fit of the giggles and so the meeting was ruined. He also thought I was deaf. ‘What is she saying? What is going on?’” she laughed.
“Water is the one word you have to say in the [American] accent… You have to do it in the voice otherwise you are going to just die of thirst!”