The final show in the current series of The Jonathan Ross Show was screened on ITV this month and guest Sir Richard Branson made sure it was a memorable show for Jonathan. During the recording of promotional links for the show Richard teased Jonathan by pouring a glass of water over his head. Jonathan was clearly shocked but he took it with good humour laughing, “That’s when you know you’ve been Bransoned.”
Richard Branson’s mother Eve joined him at the recording of The Jonathan Ross Show and sat alongside the other guests in the green room.
During his interview, Richard talked to Jonathan about his commercial space flight venture. This is something he has been working on for many years. Richard originally expressed his desire to go into space during an interview in 1988 on the TV show Going Live, where he received a phone call from a viewer asking if he’d like to go into space.
“You never know what sparks things off in your mind but as as result of that show (Going Live) we registered the name Virgin Galactic Airways,” said Richard. “Over the next decade I started travelling around the world meeting technicians and engineers to see if we could find a genius who could build a spaceship that could take you and me into space.”
Talking about his spaceship venture, Richard said: “I think it’s going to be the beginning of a whole new era of space travel. Initially we’re going to be giving people a taste of space. It’s going to be absolutely magnificent. People will become astronaughts, they’ll be able to experience zero gravity. They’ll be able to check the world is really round and they’ll have the ride of a lifetime.”
Richard continued: “In our life time I really do believe that we will be able to do London to Australia in a couple of hours. We’ve got 300 wonderful engineers at Virgin Galactic and their dream is to pull that off.”
Jonathan said to Richard, “You’re an iconic figure and an inspirational figure. If you were to enter politics I think you’d get elected.”
Richard responded saying. “I’ve not been interested in getting involved in party politics. I’ve been very interested in getting involved in issues and speaking out on issues and trying to address issues.” He continued: “I can speak out on issues that maybe politicians are not necessarily brave enough to speak out on.”
Despite the fact Richard is one of the most successful businessmen in the world, he told Jonathan that he doesn’t see himself as a businessman.
“I’ve never really seen myself as a businessman. I see myself as somebody who loves creating things.”
“The spaceship company is just the most ridiculously exciting thing that I’ve done in my lifetime. If we can get enough people wanting to fly it then we can start building Virgin hotels in space, we can start doing trips to Mars…”
Davina McCall has recently ran, swam and cycled the length of the country to raise money for Sport Relief. On the first day Davina cycled for 17 hours and that night she had to endure an ice bath. Davina told Jonathan, “I felt like I’d been traumatised. I couldn’t sleep because I kept getting mental pictures of what had happened during the day.”
Davina laughed as she told Jonathan about feeling sensitive after the bike ride: “Day one was so bad in that area (she pointed down) that I went to the loo and I was crying. The next day I had to get back on the bike and I said, ‘I can’t do it.’ So we had to concoct this amazing…we called it Fanny Fudge.”
Davina continued: “We mixed some anaesthetic with some shammy cream and I plastered myself in that. I basically didn’t have an undercarriage for the last four days. I was like, ‘Yeah, I can get on this bike, no problem. I can’t even feel it.’”
Davina told Jonathan: “We finished on Valentine’s Day…”
Jonathan joked: “Happy Valentine’s Day, darling. You’re not coming in the bedroom.”
Davina said: “I’m afraid we had to rain check. Valentine’s Day. It was like, ‘No, I’m sorry.”
As well as laughing about some of the challenges she faced, Davina also found the experience incredibly emotional and at some points during her interview with Jonathan, Davina welled up.
Davina explained: “What’s quite weird is that since I’ve had children I’ve sort of stopped crying. I put a lid on it quite a lot because I don’t want to upset them or worry them or anything. And this journey, this week I went on, was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve never cried so much. But actually I look back on it and it wasn’t a bad thing. I was so exhausted, so physically and mentally drained that I didn’t have the normal barriers I would have to stop myself. So if I needed to cry or something had upset me, I just cried. It was kind of amazing. People keep going, ‘was it the worst thing you’ve ever done?’ It was the worst and the best all rolled into one.”
Jennifer Hudson has achieved huge success following her role in the film Dreamgirls, winning awards including an Oscar and Grammy. Her life has changed beyond belief since her audition for American Idol in 2004. Back then Simon Cowell doubted Jennifer and he has since apologised, admitting he was wrong.
Jonathan said: “At the time (of Pop Idol) Simon Cowell wasn’t your biggest fan.”
“No,” said Jennifer. “He told me I was out of my league.”
Despite Simon’s early comments towards her, Jennifer certainly doesn’t hold a grudge.
“He turned out to actually be my favourite judge because he was so honest, but he was tough,” she said.
Jonathan asked: “Was he right to a certain extent?”
Jennifer said: “Was he right? No he was wrong.”
Jennifer continued: “Actually, he ended up apologising and sending me a video, the year I won my Oscar on the red carpet. There was a video of him. He congratulated me and he admitted that he was wrong. So I’ve got it on camera.”
Dreamgirls was Jennifer’s first film and first time acting. Jonathan said, “That must have been pretty terrifying?”
“Well, I didn’t realise what I was getting myself into, so I was kind of blinded by it and I didn’t really know what was going on. I kind was unfazed at the time,” explained Jennifer. “Now, years later, I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s what I was doing.’”
Jennifer’s fame means that she is approached by fans all the time. Jennifer told Jonathan that a fan once wanted proof that she was the real Jennifer Hudson.
Jennifer explained: “This lady comes over to me and she’s like, ‘Hey, they say you’re Jennifer Hudson. Stick out your tongue. If you stick out your tongue I can tell if it’s you or not.”
While telling Jonathan this story Jennifer stuck out her long tongue (picture available from Rex Features) and Jonathan joked, “Miley Cyrus is sitting at home saying, ‘I wish I had a tongue like that. It’s a better tongue than mine.”
Jennifer showed off her singing talent with an acapella version of a song from her new album. Singing on the sofa, Jennifer encouraged Jonathan to join in with her.
As well as having a successful career, Jennifer is also mum to her four-year-old son David Junior. Jennifer admitted to Jonathan that she would love a daughter. She said: “I want a little girl so bad and I said when he (her son) turned four but he’s four now and that’s too soon, so maybe when he’s six we can have another one.”
Sue Perkins is a presenter on the hugely popular series The Great British Bake Off. Sue admitted to Jonathan that she didn’t expect the series to be such a success.
“They said, “Would you do it?’ and I said, ‘No, it’s about cakes, don’t be silly,” Sue laughed.
Sue is thankful she changed her mind and took the role. “I can’t tell you how joyous it is. I’m the luckiest person alive.”
Sue talked about working with Mary Berry: “Mary loves Jeremy Kyle. We’ve got her into Jeremy Kyle. She says, ‘This is extraordinary. Absolutely marvellous.’ Then after a while you go, ‘It is real.’ ‘Is it really?’ (Mary says).”
Sue continued: “She’s (Mary) really good at spanking me. She can just really wallop my tush.”
Sue explained that they play a game on the set with a plastic baguette (prop from the show).
“Paul (Hollywood) in particular likes to take a running jump and thwack me so hard that my teeth knock together.”
She continued, laughing: “I got him (Paul Hollywood). He over bent to receive a cob and I connected so intensely with big John and the twins. So that’s what we do. It’s like a playground.”
The Great British Bake Off brings with it a lot of attention. Sue explained: “I was in Angkor Wat, the massive temple in Cambodia, doing a really pretentious piece to camera, that thank god will never make the edit, and a load of guys went, ‘Bake.’”