03/10/2020 10:49 BST | Updated 03/10/2020 10:55 BST

Graham Norton Fans Relieved To See Chat Show Return To Studio – Albeit With Major Changes

The presenter fronted the last series from home, with guests appearing remotely.

After hosting the whole last series of his chat show remotely, Graham Norton’s fans were relieved to see him back in the studio on Friday night. 

The 28th series of The Graham Norton Show kicked off with a return to IRL chat – albeit with some major changes to the usual set up. 

The usual red sofa was replaced with individual chairs, with guests Rupert Everett, Lolly Adefope and Sara Pascoe sat a safe distance from one another. 

Graham Norton on Friday night's show

There were also video calls from Riz Ahmed and Dolly Parton, who were unable to make it over to the UK due to travel restrictions. 

Guests were spaced apart to obey social distancing rules

There was also a reduced studio audience who were sat in household bubbles at a two-metre distance from one another while also wearing masks. 

The new rules meant that the usual audience capacity was reduced from over 600 to 100. 

But despite all the changes, Graham’s return to the studio was a welcome one for viewers...

In an interview with Deadline, the show’s executive producer Graham Stuart admitted the last series with Graham hosting from home with guests appearing remotely was just not the same. 

“The reason for the success of the show is the relationship between Graham and the guests, the relationship between the guests, and all of this in relation to the audience,” he said. “Graham is such a brilliant and natural performer, he is a showman.

“He achieves this intimacy with the guests and the audience, and if we can get back to just a part of that, we will be closer to what an audience show should be.”

Among the guests joining Graham in the studio and remotely next week are Ewan McGregor, Ashley Banjo and Miley Cyrus. 

The Graham Norton Show airs on Fridays at 10.35pm on BBC One.