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story.lead_photo.caption Graham Norton hosts a continuous stream of A-list celebrities on his eponymous talk show. Here he visits with Hillary Clinton last season. Season 23 debuts at 9 p.m. Friday on BBC America.

I asked a co-worker to define "madcap," and without blinking she said, "Something with a British accent."

That's as good a description as any, and it certainly fits The Graham Norton Show.

Norton returns with his frequently antic talk show at 9 p.m. Friday on BBC America. It'll be Season 23. Note that in Britain, the host is called the presenter and Season 23 is referred to as Series 23.

Seasons or series, 23 sounds like a long time, but the Brits squeeze in a couple a year with long breaks in between. The Graham Norton Show debuted in 2007 and, as with its American counterparts, the hour-long weekly offering has a formula.

That includes a monologue from the 55-year-old Norton, along with other comedy sketches, which frequently include "eccentric stories and characters."

Then there are the usual celebrity guests and musical performers, and finally, as BBC America puts it, "madcap audience participation."

For a more precise definition of madcap, let's go (fittingly) to the Cambridge English Dictionary. It says madcap is "used to describe silly and funny behaviour." You know it's British because they spell behavior with a u.

So, is The Graham Norton Show silly? Yes. Is it funny? Yep. And if you're an A-list celebrity pushing a new movie or book in England, this show is de regueur. That's French for "required."

Just last season, Norton's guests included everyone from A to Z -- Allison Janney to Zendaya. In between were Hugh Jackman, Gary Oldman, Margot Robbie, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Kelly Clarkson, Elton John, Pink, Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith and Tom Hanks -- the list goes on.

Oh. And former Arkansas first lady Hillary Clinton dropped by last season as well.

There will be 13 episodes in the new series. Friday's first episode will feature The Devil Wears Prada and Girl on a Train star Emily Blunt and The Office star John Krasinski (he played Jim Halpert).

The duo star in A Quiet Place, a creepy horror film that opened last week with the tagline, "If they hear you, they hunt you." It's about a dystopian world where blind monsters stalk their victims by sound. Krasinski co-wrote the screenplay and directed the film.

Sorry, Office fans. Krasinski didn't end up with Pam (Jenna Fischer). He and Blunt have been married since 2010. In Hollywood years that's, like, 20 or 30 years.

Also chatting with Norton Friday will be Tom Holland, who is reprising his role of Spider-Man in the new Marvel film Avengers: Infinity War.

Musical guest is Australian actress/singer Kylie Minogue with her new single "Stop Me From Falling."

So, if you're ready for a little madcap levity before you call it a week, check out Norton and guests.

• Rellik, 9 p.m. Friday on Cinemax. Here's more BBC programming coming to America, but about as far from madcap as you can get (it's TV-MA).

Rellik, which is "killer" spelled backward, is an original six-part thriller that stars Richard Dormer as Gabriel Markham, a disfigured police detective, and Jodi Balfour as his partner, Elaine Shepard.

Gabriel is disfigured because he survived an encounter with a serial killer who attacks his victim with acid. One plot twist -- the tale begins with the capture of the suspect and moves backward to the beginning of the story.

Animal PD, 9 p.m. Saturday on Nat Geo Wild. Are you an animal lover? This new series tweaks a familiar formula to take us to Florida "where animal cruelty is a felony and officers fight to defend the defenseless."

The series was filmed in the panhandle and features the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, and the Walton County sheriff's office. It follows Alaqua founder Laurie Hood and sheriff's investigator Breezy Adkinson "as they investigate anonymous tips, execute raids and rescues, and build cases to bring the [pet] owners to justice."

In Saturday's episode, "Unchained and Dangerous," our intrepid duo respond to a call of two aggressive dogs terrorizing a neighborhood, and the Alaqua team rescues dogs and cats abandoned at a deceased man's trailer.

Ex on the Beach, 9 p.m. today on MTV. If you're into this sort of thing, here's your weekly inanity. This new MTV fatuousness presents "10 smoking hot celebrity singles" plopped down on a tropical island believing they're in for a romantic reality show.

The singles are alumni of such shows as The Bachelorette, Big Brother, Bachelor in Paradise, The Challenge, Vanderpump Rules, Are You the One? and Bad Girls Club.

And then, "just as the party is getting started," their exes arrive "to break up the fun." Drama ensues. Enjoy.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

Weekend on 04/12/2018

Print Headline: 'Madcap' Graham Norton returns for season 23

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