On this week’s The Jonathan Ross Show, Jonathan is joined by Oscar nominated actor from Taken, Star Wars, Batman Begins and Schindler’s List Liam Neeson, The Last of Us and Game of Thrones breakout star Bella Ramsey, comedian and Unforgivable host Mel Giedroyc, quick-witted Taskmaster star and comic Munya Chawawa, plus acclaimed singer Lady Blackbird will be performing in the studio.
Firstly, Jonathan is joined by Oscar nominated actor Liam Neeson ahead of the launch of his new film Marlowe. Liam said:
“Marlowe is Phillip Marlowe. He’s a private investigator. It was first invented by Raymond Chandler. I’m an avid reader but I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t read any chapter until I was offered the film. He’s a private eye but a bit shady but has a code of ethics.”
On whether he’d like to return to the role for a sequel, Liam said: “If it does well with audiences, I’d love to - sure.”
Speaking about his exercise regime, Liam said: “I'm not a gym rat. I mainly do 35 minutes every day. Power walking. I live in New York so I’m in the city. I have a walking partner, a lovely lady called Amy - we’ve been walking for 15 or 16 years. I met her husband for the first time at this premiere of a movie of mine. I saw Amy and I went over to her and I saw him and said ‘Jay, I have to tell you right now. Amy and I are not having an affair. All we do is walk around the park!”
Ahead of the release of Liam’s latest film, Jonathan reveals this is his 100th movie. Liam said: “There’s a few documentaries in there too. Somebody told me this a few months ago but I'm actually up to 103 now.”
Quizzed by Jonathan on his favourite role, Liam said: “I’ve loved all of them. Some of the movies were so-so, some were very good I thought but I’ve always come away with a positive. I love movie crews, actors are ok but movie crews I adore.”
Asked by Jonathan if he has ever been injured on set, Liam said: “On Rob Roy by Tim Roth who stabbed me in the hand - it was an accident but Tim has a version of it and I have a version of it. We’re good pals.”
Speaking alongside the other guests about social media, Jonathan asks Liam if he is ever tempted to set up a social media account. Liam said: “I’m terrified. There are some people pretending to be me.”
On rumours about him almost making a movie with Jackie Chan, Liam said: “They sent me a script saying Jackie Chan is doing this and going to shoot in China. I read this script and it was back-to-back action for 22 year-olds. I’m not doing this, I’m 70 years of age!”
Jonathan was then joined by The Last of Us and Game of Thrones breakout star Bella Ramsey.
Following the success of The Last of Us, Jonathan quizzes Bella on her friendship with co-star Pedro Pascal. Bella said: “It’s very real. Imagine if it was all fake? I love him. I miss him. He’s in Los Angeles living his best life. Mandolorian has just come out so he’s really busy. We were both on Game of Thrones but in different seasons.”
Speaking to Jonathan about when viewers can expect a new series of The Last of Us, Bella said: “It will be a while. I think we’ll probably shoot at the end of this year, beginning of next. So it’ll probably be the end of 2024, early 2025.”
Speaking about her first role on Game of Thrones and whether she had watched the series, Bella said: “No, I was far too little. We weren’t a family who grew up watching TV. My older sister had heard of it and knew what it was but no I’d never seen it. I watched Horrid Henry and Come Dine With Me - I was obsessed with Come Dine With Me when I was 8 years old.”
Asked by Jonathan if she gets recognised in public, Bella said: “Yes I do. It’s more consistent, it’s more like every time I go out now. Some people have panic attacks! It’s very overwhelming, I’d find it overwhelming seeing someone I knew on the street. People are very sweet most of the time. I’ve not really had any bad experiences yet. But sometimes it’s awkward times when I’m eating my soup and I spill it all down me or when I’m waiting in line for the toilet at St Pancras station - that was the first time I got recognised.”
Next, comedian and Unforgivable host Mel Giedroyc spoke to Jonathan ahead of being involved with the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Mel said: “I’ll be in the commentary box. I’m not going to be doing it 100% because Graham Norton is going to be presenting on stage and then bobbing between the box and the stage.”
Mel added: “I’m obsessed. It’s so good. It’s going to be so brilliant this year. We’re in Liverpool and we’re hosting on behalf of Ukraine - it’s going to be very poignant and very powerful. We’ve got a great UK entry in Mae Muller - I love her.”
Recounting the time she and her colleagues won a BAFTA for The Great British Bake Off, Mel said: “The pacing was all wrong for us. We started having some drinks but sort of at midday. Sue and I were absolutely lathered come 2 o’clock. I was chewing gum to get rid of the awful dead prosecco breath. We were sitting in the audience having a real laugh. It was announced that we had won and the piece of chewing gum flew in a beautiful ark into the hairdo of the woman sitting in the row in front. It turned out she was a slightly important BBC exec.”
On whether she’ll be enjoying a drink at Eurovision, Mel said: “Absolutely not. I think Terry [Wogan] used to wait until song eleven. If I have a whiff of an alcoholic drink then it will be game over but of course I’ll be having a drink, load of drinks - it’ll be rude not to.”
Speaking about working in Liverpool previously, Mel said: “I’ve done gigs in Liverpool and always have a tremendous time - it’s such a great city. We did a gig in Liverpool and we were staying at the same hotel as the Tory Party Conference. We had a drummer in our band and he was three sheets to the wind and we had to pull him off Edwina Currie because he got angry and didn’t share the politics of Edwina Currie. Her minder stepped in and had to physically pull him off. I got between them and I basically saved Edwina Currie that evening.”
Revealing how terrified she was after watching The Last of Us, Mel said: “I watched episode one and I had to go into the office and sleep in the single bed on my own to deal with the fear. I couldn’t be in the bed with my husband in case he turned into a flesh-eating zombie. I literally couldn’t deal with it.”
Talking about a previous time working on a live event, Mel said: “It was not good. It was 1999 and I was asked to do the live commentary for Miss World in Earls Court arena and going into people’s homes. It was very, very vague. I pitched up in the morning and nobody really knew what to do with me. There go were no notes on the contestants or anything - it was absolute insanity. It was before the days you could look people up on phones. The research was scant so I just made stuff up.”
Finally, quick-witted Taskmaster star and comic Munya Chawawa spoke to Jonathan ahead of his new tour starting in October. Speaking about his rise to fame, Munya said: “I really wanted to get into TV - I wanted to be a presenter. In the end I was trying every single avenue, I tried doing fashion vlogging and normal vlogging. I said to myself ‘let me just make a sketch’ and I made these sketches and they started to take off and the wheel started to turn slowly.”
Revealing whether he’s had any feedback from some of the celebrities he has impersonated or met any of them, Munya said: “Somebody said to me that he [Jamie Oliver] liked it. Even a lot of politicians, I’ve heard they’ve seen the videos as well. One time I came out of the BRIT Awards and I was about to leave and Matt Hancock came out at the same time. We’re going down the escalator and Jonathan you know this, you leave one step between the person in front of you. I looked around and this man was breathing down my neck. Very close. I could smell what this man had been eating down my neck!”
Speaking about growing up in Zimbabwe, “It was a life where we made our own adventures. One thing I used to do to have my own adventures was before I’d have a bath, I would cover the entire bath in vaseline and I used to see how long I could surf in the bath - that was a competition I made with myself. One day it went really wrong - we went to this lodge, I put some vaseline in it and I stood up in the bath and all of a sudden my mum knocked and I stood up. I slipped and went straight onto the toilet seat.”
Talking about when he moved to London and one of his first jobs, Munya said: “I’m in this room and it was £400 a month. My friend messaged me and said he had this job. I’ve gone to this shoot and I’m thinking I’m going to get there and Tom Cruise is going to be starting up a plane and Avatars are going to be walking down the corridor. I got bundled into this room and there are no mirrors. All there is is this person holding a giant costume. I start getting led down the corridor and I’m thinking ‘what am I?’. I got pushed into this room and there is branding everywhere and it’s for the UK Anti-Doping Agency and I am a urine sample!”
At the end of the show, Lady Blackbird performs.
THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW, SATURDAY AT 21.55PM ON ITV1 AND ITVX.