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Will & Grace star Debra Messing tricked Madonna during sitcom cameo

Will & Grace star Debra Messing has told how she gave Madonna a fake name because the singer did not know who the cast of the hit sitcom were when she appeared on the show.

Madonna had a cameo in the popular American series in 2003 in an episode which saw her play a potential roommate for Karen Walker (played by Megan Mullally).

Host Graham Norton with (left to right) Saoirse Ronan, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Rob Beckett and Keala Settle during filming of the Graham Norton Show  (PA wire)

The series has returned after a hiatus of more than a decade, airing on Channel 5 in the UK.

Messing, 49, who plays interior designer Grace Adler, told The Graham Norton Show: “Madonna didn’t have a clue who we were and she could not remember our names so I told her mine was Rachal.

“She said, ‘Really? That is my Kabbalah name,’ I said like, ‘How about that!’ so for the rest of the week she called me Rachal.

“When she finally realised that wasn’t my name she sent me roses with a note written to ‘Dear Debra.'”

Her co-star, actor Eric McCormack, who plays gay lawyer Will Truman, added: “The same thing happened to me and she sent flowers and a note saying, ‘If my husband would let me, I’d tattoo your name on my arm.’”

Madonna was married to film director Guy Ritchie at the time.

McCormack, 54, also told Graham Norton how Sir Elton John’s stint on the show came about.

Debra Messing during filming of the Graham Norton Show at The London Studios (PA)

He explained: “I grew up with David Furnish (Sir Elton’s husband) so that’s how Elton ended up on the show.

“David called one day to say he was in town so I invited him to dinner and he brought Elton with him. I was trying to be cool but had had just enough wine to ask him to christen our new piano.

“When he asked what he should play I thought, ‘I’m not going to be a schmuck and ask for Rocket Man,’ so I said, ‘I’ve Seen That Movie Too from Yellow Brick Road’ and he looked up at me and said, ‘I don’t remember that song!'”

The new series has also seen favourites Jack McFarland (played by Sean Hayes) and Mullally’s high-pitched, foul-mouthed character of Karen, return.

Creator Max Mutchnik brought the series back after the cast reunited to air a one-off, pro-Hillary Clinton topical clip during the US elections in November 2016.

The clip has had nearly eight millions view on YouTube.

Other guests joining Norton on his famous red sofa include Irish star and Oscar nominated actress Saoirse Ronan, comedian and TV personality Rob Beckett and American singer Keala Settle.

The Graham Norton show airs on BBC One on February 9 at 10.35pm.