Graham Norton

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Graham William Walker (born 4 April 1963[1]) is an Irish actor, comedian, television presenter and columnist, known by his stage name Graham Norton. He is the host of the comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show and the BBC commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest.

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Early life and career

Norton was born in Clondalkin, a suburb of Dublin, but grew up in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland. He was brought up a Protestant.[2]

Norton entered University College Cork but dropped out to move to San Francisco in the USA, where he trained as a drama teacher at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

In 1992 his stand-up comedy drag act in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as a tea-towel clad Mother Teresa of Calcutta made the press when Scottish Television's religious affairs department mistakenly thought he represented the real Mother Teresa.[3]

His first appearances in broadcasting were in his spot as a regular comedian and panellist on the BBC Radio 4 show Loose Ends, when the show ran on Saturday mornings, in the early 1990s. His rise to fame began as one of the early successes of Channel 5, when he won an award for his performance as the stand-in host of a late-night TV talk show usually presented by Jack Docherty. This was followed by a comic quiz show on Channel 5 called Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment, which was not well received as a programme, but did further enhance Norton's individual reputation as a comic and TV host. In 1996, Norton co-hosted the late-night quiz show Carnal Knowledge on ITV with Maria McErlane.

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