Graham Norton welcomes Charlotte Church, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Russell Howard

by Lisa McGarry

Charlotte Church, Hollywood actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and comedian Russell Howard join Graham Norton for the first show in the new series of The Graham Norton Show on BBC One.

Charlotte, talking about her split from Gavin Henson, says: “Something had been happening for a long time. We wanted to make it work but decided the break-up was inevitable and we did it when the kids are young.

“We’ve both been pretty grown up about it and are doing what’s best for our beautiful babies.”

Confirming her new romance, with Johnny Powell, she reveals: “I love it. I’ve learnt many lessons and I am going into the relationship differently. I’m doing everything differently – including work.”

And, on her return to work, she says: “I missed singing – it’s in my blood and I needed an outlet. I sing every night to my babies when they go to sleep, but I wanted a little bit more. I love the process of creating music and writing – I find it amazing – it thrills me and I had to start doing it again.”

Talking about having her children, she says: “I was going into labour and Gav decided to go and buy light bulbs. He locked me safely in the car when he went inside and, as the contractions got stronger and I was moving about, the car alarm kept going off.”

On Gavin’s dancing ability on Strictly, she said: “I watch him every week because the kids love it. He’s doing really well. I was shocked, but he’s doing really well – I am voting for him.”

Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is in London to make a new movie about the Victorian doctor who inadvertently invented the vibrator, says, on being nominated for an Oscar: “I was beyond thrilled to be there.

“I was the surprise nominee and I had nothing invested in winning.” She says she danced with Madonna at a post-Oscar party and adds: “My husband also danced with Madonna, he totally danced with Madonna – he speaks Madonna’s language.”

Russell Howard talks about his new TV show, Russell Howard’s Good News, going on tour with his mum and some of his odder fans.

Charlotte performs Don’t Think About It, from her new album, live in the studio.

And, finally, Graham pulls the lever on the first of many foolhardy members of the audience brave enough to sit in the red chair.

The Graham Norton Show, Friday 22 October at 10.35pm on BBC One.