Entertainment

Michael Sheen faces ‘grilling of a lifetime’ on new BBC show The Assembly

The Welsh actor said the interview by people who are autistic, neurodivergent or learning disabled will be ‘exhilarating and a little bit terrifying’.

Michael Sheen will be interviewed by around 35 neurodivergent or learning disabled people in the new BBC show The Assembly
Michael Sheen Michael Sheen will be interviewed by around 35 neurodivergent or learning disabled people in the new BBC show The Assembly (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Michael Sheen will be interviewed by people who are autistic, neurodivergent or learning disabled on a BBC show.

The half-hour special called The Assembly, which will air during Autism Acceptance Week later this year, will have around 35 interviewers questioning the Welsh actor and director.

The BBC has advised viewers to anticipate chaos and revelations during the “no-holds-barred” interview in which Sheen, known for comedy Good Omens and vampire film series Underworld, faces a “grilling of a lifetime”.

The Newport-born actor, 55, said he was “thrilled” to be a guest.

He said: “It’s such a fresh and exciting idea and I can’t wait for what I’m sure is going to be a surprising and challenging experience.

“I really don’t know what to expect, which is both exhilarating and a little bit terrifying.”

The show’s format is adapted from the popular France 2 show Les Rencontres Du Papotin, which has seen President Emmanuel Macron and Call My Agent! actress Camille Cottin grilled.

During the series Mr Macron, 46, was asked if it is “really role model behaviour to marry one’s teacher”, pointing to his relationship with his wife Brigitte Macron, 70, who he met at his school.

He responded, saying that you do not choose who you “love”.

The show has also been made in Spain, Denmark and Poland.

Brigitte Macron and French President Emmanuel Macron
King Charles III State Visit to France – Day One Brigitte Macron and French President Emmanuel Macron (Daniel Leal/PA)

Kalpna Patel-Knight, the BBC’s head of entertainment commissioning, said: “The BBC is delighted to introduce viewers to The Assembly. It’s a feel-good, stand-out entertainment show unlike anything viewers have seen before.

“Big thank you to Michael Sheen for being game on to have a no-holds-barred interview with the superb interviewers who bring the show to life.”

Michelle Singer and Stu Richards from Rockerdale Studios will produce the show.

Between them, they have made Mission: Accessible about disabled people going on adventures and black comedy Jerk, which focuses on an unpleasant main character who has cerebral palsy.

Singer and Richards hailed the show as the “most remarkable project” they have ever worked on.

They said: “It’s a brilliant representation of a part of society we rarely see given agency on our screens but, far more than that, it’s also mischievous, funny, profound, and can turn from one to the other in a heartbeat.”

The show will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in April.

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