Graham Norton. Copyright: David Venni.

The Graham Norton Story

Channel 5 documentary about Graham Norton's career. 1 episode in 2016. Features Ian Coombes, Niall MacMonagle, Ryan Tubridy, Saskia Wickham and others.

The Graham Norton Story

Documentary about the career of Graham Norton

Channel 5
Ian Coombes, Niall MacMonagle, Ryan Tubridy, Saskia Wickham, Maria McErlane, Mark Lawson, James Dreyfus, Kathryn Flett and others
Chris Hill and Richard Ward

Charting his unique journey from humble beginnings in Ireland to superstardom as Britain's best-loved chat show host, this documentary hears from people who knew Graham Norton, worked with him and helped shape his career, as well as his fans, friends and media champions.

In between his formative years in Ireland, living in a San Francisco hippie commune, suffering a near-death experience after a brutal attack and training to be a professional actor, young Graham took work as a waiter. It was there that he developed his first comedy characters, and he was soon playing every year at Edinburgh with outrageous cabaret comedy shows such as The Karen Carpenter Bar and Grill.

Two lucky breaks proved to be the turning point in Graham's early career--first was playing an obnoxiously excitable priest in Father Ted, and second was deputising for Jack Docherty as guest host on his chat show --and beating poor Jack to a British Comedy Award as Best Newcomer as a result.

He was soon a major star, with his risqué and groundbreaking chat show So Graham Norton cleverly using the internet and his live audience to create a unique brand, as well as enticing huge celebrities on to the show, who gamely allowed him to push the boundaries of taste and decency in the funniest way imaginable.

He also took over the hallowed seat of Sir Terry Wogan as the new voice of Eurovision, and established himself as a firm radio favourite, all while setting out his stall with the now definitive The Graham Norton Show, the dream gig for every A-list celebrity.

Production Details

Part of

The Story Of... Documentaries

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Tuesday 20th December 2016 on Channel 5 at 9pm
Episode length
90 minutes
Last repeat
Friday 10th April 2020 at 10:00pm