After browsing BBC iPlayer’s comedy selection, I was more than willing to watch the new series of a show entering its 21st. Can you guess it?
Well, you probably read the headline – it’s the Graham Norton Show. At 54, the openly-gay Irish national is into his eighth year of hosting the award winning talk-show. With Michael Caine, Morgan Freedom, Jack Whitehall, Gemma Whelan and Take That sitting on the sofa through the night, I enjoyed another entertaining night of chat-show comedy.
I don’t know Norton too well from his previous shows, but can remember him scattered around on lots of other TV and radio programmes. He’s done a fair bit of work for both the BBC and Channel 4 with his stand-up comedy, sitcoms, talk show presenting, and now stands in for the late Terry Wogan with the Eurovision Song Contest.
There’s one other thing to mention. Back in 1988, Norton had a life-threatening moment in which he came close to losing his life. He was mugged, beaten, stabbed by a group of attackers in London, and lost almost half of his own blood before being hospitalised for two-and-a-half weeks.
But, openly-gay and so influential, he’s still with us. As traumatising as the attack could have been for him, he now jokes about the event on-air and has since pushed to keep serving humanity in many ways.
He released his debut novel Holding in 2016, which has received critical acclaim, and for many years Graham Norton’s advice has been helping others through his column in the Daily Telegraph.
I’ve got a lot of respect for Graham Norton and see him as an iconic figure: nothing has stopped him from climbing to one of the highest peaks in British television. I also very much believe in equality, and by being a fully-open homosexual, his current reign only seems more positive.
Please, keep it coming, Graham – I like your style.