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The Jonathan Ross Show

  • Episode: 

    6 of 13

  • Title: 

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Sat 13 Feb 2016
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.20pm - 10.20pm
  • Week: 

    Week 07 2016 : Sat 13 Feb - Fri 19 Feb
  • Channel: 

STEPHEN FRY speaks about his first year of marriage, honeymoon and kids. He also talks about hosting the BAFTAs and retiring from QI
SACHA BARON COHEN does his first UK interview as himself in 18 years and speaks about his famous comedy characters and how they’ve got him into trouble at home and away
AMY POEHLER speaks about hosting The Golden Globes and Saturday Night Live
ROMESH RANGANATHAN speaks about his near brush with death whilst filming in Sri Lanka and his new ITV show, It’s Not Rocket Science
And a music performance from Shawn Mendes
On this week’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, Jonathan is joined by national treasure, Stephen Fry; King of comedy characters, Sacha Baron Cohen; US funny woman, Amy Poehler and comedian, Romesh Ranganathan. 
British icon, Stephen Fry, joined the sofa and spoke about his first year of marriage and leaving QI.
Speaking to Jonathan about retiring from hosting QI, Stephen admitted: “I am [retiring]. I did it for 13 years and it was 16 episodes a time and I just felt I wanted to move on really.”
Stephen - who completed 13 series, each of which takes its theme from a letter of the alphabet - said he doesn’t mind only completing half of the alphabet: “I would have been 70 or something by the end of it which is a distressing thought. I don’t know, I’ve probably made a terrible mistake and I’ll be begging to be asked back… There is an enormous appetite, almost a greed for information and for quirky knowledge and for real thinking out there - television doesn’t often provide it and the fact that the programme was successful and I hope will continue to be so is proof of that, people are not idiots and they are genuinely very curious.”
On hosting the BAFTAs, Stephen commented on how tame they are these days: “It is an odd thing that… after the BAFTAs all the parties are pretty sober and people behave. People have one little drink and that’s about it really but if you went back to 20 years ago, 25 years ago it was a very different story and I don’t know why that is. Obviously I have to say it is true that I don’t do much of that kind of thing anymore as I used to and so it’s not as if I really regret other people stopping but I wonder why it is, just as an intellectual or if not exactly intellectual, a curious social question as to why... now everybody is so buttoned up and puritanical.”
Jonathan said, “I think the answer is phones have cameras on them now… It’s much easier to get caught out,” to which Stephen replied, “That is a very good point, that is a lot to do with it isn’t it.”
On the jokes and jibes that come with hosting award ceremonies, Stephen said: “I’m not really very good at offending people. I don’t have a persona where offending someone works. Ricky Gervais is a brilliant comic spirit obviously but as you know, he’s a total t*t and so he just doesn’t mind, it’s just in him, he’s got this imp whereas I haven’t got it and it’s probably a weakness in me because it’s a wonderful thing to be able to insult.”
Stephen spoke about his first year of marriage to husband, Elliott Spencer: “I still am [married]. I think that may be a record in show business… It’s fabulous. [Bashing his ring against the desk to make a noise] That’s my ring. It’s terrific, it gets better every day. I’ll sound really childish if I keep doing this but it’s like a miracle really, it’s just such a wonderful thing. It ought not to make that much difference, it’s merely the state recognising a relationship that could exist without the state recognising it and yet it does make a difference somehow, not because the state recognises it but because you somehow just become connected to all the people in history who have been married before.”
Later in the show, Jonathan observed: “Stephen you would be the loveliest father, are you tempted?”
Stuttering, Stephen answered, “No, hmm, let’s just say I am a godfather. I have 13 godchildren which is a source of constant joy. I’ve been slightly disappointed by all my godchildren who are... all my godchildren are very well behaved, none of them have been expelled from school, none of them have had terrible drug problems, I haven’t had to go to a police station to pick one up at three in the morning for some terrible offence and they’re all really nice but in a nice way, not in a way that makes you want to slap them just really nice. It’s a delight though,” he laughed.
On getting back into sketch comedy with Hugh Laurie, Stephen said: “We talk about it, we lark about when we’re together, as we always have which is what the sort of genesis of that kind of thing is. But I think we both have this idea, I may be wrong, that sketch comedy is a young person’s game.”
Borat, Bruno and Ali G star, Sacha Baron Cohen, spoke to Jonathan in his first UK interview out of character in 18 years, despite sharing some of his most famous personas and lines much to the audience’s enjoyment.
Speaking to Jonathan about Borat and the reaction of the Kazakhstan people on the character, Sacha said: “I think they called up Number 10 actually, Downing Street... and they were complaining about the first ever time I did Borat saying ‘This is not a real Kazak moustache’... They got very upset because I hosted the MTV Awards as Borat and I pretended that their Prime Minister came on… and I got on my knees and I kissed his crotch and they got very, very angry and they decided ‘We are going to show this is not our Prime Minister’ so they ended up spending 30 million dollars in a campaign to prove that they were the real Kazakhstan. Meanwhile what I decided to do, they got so angry that their Prime Minister actually flew to Washington to complain to the American president so I heard he was coming so I thought I’m going to Washington. I found out the half an hour window where he was going to be outside the Kazak Embassy and in the White House and at that point I decided to throw a press conference outside the Kazak Embassy pretending to be the real Kazakhstan.”
On the danger to some of his characters and jokes, Sacha admitted he does have to think about it more carefully now he is a father and husband: “It affects the homelife. I remember one time again with this character Bruno he’s trying to lose his virginity and I end up in a room with this dominatrix. Now unbeknownst to me, the director of the movie had told the dominatrix that I was a virgin and that if she got to have sex with me she would get $2000 so this woman bolted the door, got my belt off and started whipping me and at one point she ripped off all my clothes and at one point kicked me so hard in the thumb she broke my thumb… Eventually I was so desperate I jumped out the window, jumped naked out the window. I got home and I’m getting ready to go to bed and my wife sees welts all over my back and I’m bleeding quite profusely and she goes ‘What happened honey?’ and I say, ‘Just a tough day at the office’... The type of scenarios ended up being a bit tricky.”
The audience were shown an outrageous clip from Sacha’s new film, Grimsby. The clip - which sees his newest character, Nobby, in circumstances too extreme to broadcast - shocked the audience and fellow guests, who also found it hilarious, with Stephen Fry exclaiming, “I thought I was going to have an asthma attack!”
American actress and comedian, Amy Poehler, joined the show and spoke about hosting award shows and working on Saturday Night Live.
Speaking to Jonathan about hosting The Golden Globes with Tina Fey, Amy said: “It’s strange to walk out and everyone in your audience is famous, it’s strange to recognise everyone in your audience but at the end of the day it’s just a silly awards show, it really should be taken as seriously as any award show. We’re lucky that show people get to drink and that makes a big difference.”
Speaking about working on Saturday Night Live, Amy admitted: “It’s kind of like comedy camp, you have to get really good very fast… It’s like a well run Emergency Room so nobody is running around screaming ‘The patient is going to die’ but sometimes the patient doesn’t make it. Every time I walk into that building I get this feeling of ‘Oh no, the show is coming on and we have to do it.’ It was an awesome time.” 
Sharing a funny anecdote about working with Jon Hamm on the show, Amy said: “There’s a funny instance where I was due to give birth on that Saturday and it was the Friday before and I made the mistake of thinking that my child was going to play along with these plans but I was supposed to do SNL and Jon was the host and we were rehearsing something and I got a phone call and I burst into tears and a heavily pregnant woman crying is scary and I informed him that my beloved OBGYN [obstetrics and gynecology doctor] had just passed away of a heart attack and I was just standing there and I said ‘My doctor has just died and I’m due to deliver tomorrow’ and everyone got very quiet and he just leaned in and said ‘This is a really important show for me and I need to get your s**t together.’ It was awesome and then I ended up giving birth the next day and missing the show and he went on to fame and fortune,” she laughed.
Amy spoke about her hatred of technology and messaging faux pas, admitting: “I once had an assistant who was sitting across from me and I texted someone and said ‘We need to get rid of my assistant’ and I texted my assistant. It was a really nice clean way of firing her… Texting is dangerous.”
Funny man, Romesh Ranganathan, joined the sofa and joked about filming his recent show Asian Provocateur in Sri Lanka and his brush with death.
Speaking to Jonathan, the comic said: “I did have a situation where I nearly killed myself and what happened was, basically we’re filming for long days and I kept getting dehydrated but at the same time you don’t want to drink too much because then you need a wee all the time and we’re all in these rural areas and so you’d say to someone ‘Is there a toilet somewhere?’ and they’d say ‘Yes certainly’ and then open a door to hell and so I thought I can’t do this any more, and so I decided just to find a bush somewhere so I was just sort of running around and then I unleashed the beast and I was just about to go and then I saw the biggest hornet’s nest I have ever seen in my life just right in front of me. I mean that would have been direct hit and then I’m gone, what a way to go!” he laughed.
Romesh also spoke about his new ITV programme, It’s Not Rocket Science: “I’m not a science expert by any stretch but I just like the idea of everyday science and demystifying that subject and just asking questions about stuff.”
Please note the above is all taken from the recording of The Jonathan Ross Show and is subject to the show edit.