He achieved fame as a broadcaster on Britain's Channel 4 and also through his role as Father Noel Furlong in the critically acclaimed Irish television series Father Ted. Though he only appeared in three episodes, Norton's performance as Father Noel proved extremely popular with viewers. Norton is openly gay, and is one of Ireland's most famous gay personalities. He has since moved from Channel 4 and done much work for the BBC, with various shows for BBC One and BBC Two, and work on BBC Radio 2. He is also the co-owner of SO Television, the company which produces his various shows.
He suffers from vitiligo.
His first appearances in broadcasting were in his spot as a regular on the BBC Radio 4 show Loose Ends. This was 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 the late-night talk show usually presented by Jack Docherty. This was followed by a comic quiz show called Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment, which wasn't well received as a programme but did further enhance Norton's individual reputation. He also took part in the show Carnal Knowledge.
After this early success, Norton moved to Channel 4 to host his own chat shows including So Graham Norton and V Graham Norton. As a performer who is not only openly gay, but also naturally camp and flamboyant, it was here that Norton's act was fully honed as a cheeky, innuendo-laden joker.
He has interviewed many famous celebrities including Cher, Dido, Shannen Doherty, Britney Spears, Sophia Loren, Elton John, Marilyn Manson, Mariah Carey, Shirley Bassey, Pete Burns, Gabriel Byrne, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood Heath Ledger and Diana Ross.
In 2003, he was the subject of controversy when, on his show on Channel 4, he made a comedic reference to the recent death of Bee Gees singer Maurice Gibb. The Independent Television Commission investigated after complaints about this insensitivity were forwarded to it and eventually Channel 4 had to make two apologies: one in the form of a caption slide before the show, another from Norton in person.
Also in 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy (though Norton is Irish, the bulk of his television career has been in the UK).
In the summer of 2004, Norton moved across the Atlantic to start a new venture in American television. The Graham Norton Effect debuted on 24 June 2004 on Comedy Central. In the midst of controversy surrounding Janet Jackson's Super Bowl performance, Norton was wary of moving into the market. The Graham Norton Effect got away with the same racy, suggestive jokes that made his previous shows so popular, but failed to attract an audience.
In 2005, he moved to the BBC and began hosting the Saturday evening reality TV series Strictly Dance Fever and Graham Norton's Bigger Picture. Norton read stories some nights on the BBC children's channel CBeebies as part of Bedtime Hour. He played Mr. Puckov in the 2006 comedy spoof Another Gay Movie.
Over the summer of 2006, he hosted the series How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? in which Andrew Lloyd Webber tried to find a lead actress for his West End version of The Sound of Music. He also presented the follow ups Any Dream Will Do, in which a group of males competed to win the role of Joseph in the West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I'd Do Anything, in which Andrew Lloyd Webber seeks to find the part of Nancy and Oliver for Sir Cameron Macintosh's production of Lionel Bart's Oliver. On 7 August, Norton recorded a pilot for a new BBC chat/game show My Lovely Audience, which is a mix of games and celebrity chats.
Norton has been involved in a high-publicity advertising campaign for the National Lottery as an animated Unicorn, the stooge to a character based on Lady Luck (played by Fay Ripley). He has also advertised McVitie's biscuits.
In 2007, Norton featured in Girls Aloud and Sugababes' Comic Relief video for "Walk This Way". He also hosted the BBC One variety show When Will I Be Famous? His new chat show, The Graham Norton Show, began on 22 February on BBC Two. Although in a format that Graham hasn't been involved in for 4 years, it is very similar to his previous Channel 4 shows.
Norton hosted the first annual Eurovision Dance Contest which was held in London, United Kingdom on 1 September 2007. The format was based on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and the EBU's Eurovision Song Contest.
|2007||Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind||Computer voice||BBC|
|2007||Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List||Himself||Picture This|
|2007||Who Do You Think You Are?||Himself||BBC|
|2002||Absolutely Fabulous: Gay||Himself||BBC|
|2001||The Kumars at No. 42||Himself||BBC|
|2001||Rex the Runt: Patio||Osvalde Halitosis voice||BBC|
|2001||Rex the Runt: A Crap Day Out||The Plants voice||BBC|
|1996-1998|| Father Ted: ||Father Noel Furlong||Channel4|
|2006||Another Gay Movie||Mr. Puckov||Luna Pictures|
In 2002 Norton had a relationship with Mr Gay UK Carl Austin.
Graham Norton - Look Who's Talking; Can Graham Norton Keep the Nonsense Going for Five Months on the Trot? Graham Keal Thinks He Might Just Do It
Nov 02, 2002; Byline: Graham Keal GRAHAM Norton is currently the guinea pig inhis own experiment, seeing if he can survive and thrive hosting...
Interview Graham Norton: I'll Probably End Up an Old Man, Sitting in Bed Surrounded by My Awards, and Dribbling Soup Down Myself as I Watch Daytime Telly; King of Chat Graham Norton Reveals How His Rise to the Top Has Wrecked His Chance of Finding Love. by Richard Barber
Nov 02, 2002; Byline: Richard Barber If the smile on Graham Norton's cheery face seems even wider than usual, it isn't too surprising - his...