He dropped out of University College Cork to move to San Francisco. Later he moved to London and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
He grew up as Graham Walker in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland. When he won his first BAFTA in 2000, it came the week after his father died. He dedicated the award to Billy Walker at the ceremony but only his family and friends knew who he was referring to.
In the Independent on Sunday 2006 Pink List - a list of the most influential gay men and women - he came no. 36, up from no. 37.
In December 2001, the first ever talking waxwork was unveiled at Madame Tussauds London museum featuring a Graham Norton replica as the lifelike figurine. Visitors are offered three options of Norton's impudent catchphrases: innocent innuendos, cheeky banter, or X-rated doubles entendres.
Has been the British commentator of The Eurovision Song Contest since 2008 and is known for his humorous style at commentating.
Discussed via Radio 2 interview 18th March 2017, of actor Sacha Dhawan that Sacha, was briefly hospitalized during an adolescent re-enactment of the Dirty Dancing (1987) scene involving the 'Lift', during PR for Iron Fist (2017) .
For his infuriating portrayal of a Priest in Father Ted, he is a icon of aspiration among a select few.
Personal Quotes (11)
I am really bad at actually interviewing people. My chat show really is a 'chat' show, in that we do just witter on because most questions you come up with you either know the answer to or are never going to be answered. It's fine to have a show all about the guest if you're talking to Bette Davis or Frank Sinatra, but if you are talking to someone from Emmerdale Farm (1972) - I mean, I am not that interested, are you?
Russell Harty was one of the first interviewers who was a personality himself. Then of course came Dame Edna. Her show was incredibly subversive and led the way to others fronted by characters like Mrs Merton and the Kumars. Shows have now been taken over by comedians and the like, who have big personalities of their own. This evolution was inevitable.
In Ireland we had The Late Late Show (1970) hosted by Gay Byrne who, a bit like Michael Parkinson, despairs of the modern chat show and will probably be horrified to hear that he inspired my show in any way, but he did. It was an endless show - it lasted about three hours - and was very free-form and brilliant.
For a long time we played catch up with American chat shows, but I think we have now overtaken them. In the end it's obviously still one person talking to another on a sofa, but we make a bigger effort here to differentiate our shows. In the States they are all identical, they even have the same set - a big window with a skyline in the background. But a British audience expects more and we have been forced to push the boundaries of what a chat show might be and what you can get the guests to do.
You do get big Hollywood names now but they are media-trained to within an inch of their lives so it's hard to get them to talk about themselves or share an opinion. You even get clauses where people will specifically ask not to talk about certain subjects - their boyfriends or their divorce.
There's a mistaken assumption that doing a chat show is easy, but it's trickier than people assume. To be a good chat show host you have to want to be a chat show host, not just want to be on the telly. People would probably be surprised at the amount of work that goes into putting together my show, given how shambolic the end result can be.
If a guest is disappointing it's not their fault - they are an actor, singer, footballer - which doesn't mean they have to be entertaining. Take Charlotte (Charlotte Church): there is no reason why she should be a good guest - she was the "voice of an angel", she had a couple of kids and she has a new album out, not chat-show gold thus far, and yet she has developed a nice personality, she has a unique turn of phrase, she is funny, warm and honest and all of those things make her a great guest.
People like Bono really annoy me. He goes to hell and back to avoid paying tax. He has a special accountant. He works out Irish tax loopholes. And then he's asking me to buy a well for an African village. Tarmac the road outside your house, you tight-wad! Or pay for a school in Ireland. I've never met Bono and now I probably never will. But if I do meet him I'll ask him because I think it's a hard thing to justify. I pay a lot of tax. By most people's standards I am rich so I should pay tax because I can afford it. When I didn't want to pay it was when I didn't have any money.
I want to ask these people, 'Why are you so scared and intimidated by the idea of gay marriage?'
This tiny minority can yell all they want, but it's over. It's all done. The Iona Institute, and people like that, are like rats trapped in the corner of a barn. They know the jig is up. That's why they're screaming so loud.
Various Irish papers quoting me as saying RTE payout was gutless. I actually said the opposite. Not gutless. It was moronic.