Series: The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show is a BBC chat show initially running on BBC Two from 2007, then on BBC One from 2009. Airing late on Friday evenings, it is hosted by Graham Norton (b 4 April 1963), famous for having played Fr. Noel Furlong in Father Ted, and currently as the British commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest (2014's winner, Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, is even one of his guests).

The show has a freewheeling style, with all guests coming on at the same time and talking with each other as much as Graham. The fun is helped along by Graham's affability, a research department that is exceptionally adept at digging up little details that even the guests have forgotten about, and a healthy amount of alcohol to loosen tongues.

The last part is occasionally responsible for sending shows off the rail, such as when Mark Wahlberg showed up drunk to one taping, more or less hijacked the proceedings, and made entertainment news headlines.

Most shows are capped with "Stories From The Red Chair", where audience members tell stories in the eponymous chair. If the story is uninteresting, or if Graham or guest simply takes a disliking to the person in the chair, the unfortunate individual is ejected thanks to a handy lever Graham keeps at his side.

The show itself is a successor to Norton's previous chat shows: So Graham Norton (1998—2002) and V Graham Norton (2002—2003) shown on Channel 4; and The Graham Norton Effect (2004), shown on Comedy Central.


Tropes associated with the show:

  • Audience Participation:
    • Norton usually talks to audience members who have submitted stories (usually embarrassing) beforehand. Often, the person telling the story is a huge fan of one of the guests on that particular episode.
    • The audience is usually involved somehow with Norton's opening skit before the titles.
    • The "Story in the Red Chair" at the end of each episode, where a few members of the audience sit in the eponymous chair backstage, telling an embarrassing story about themselves to Norton and the guests through his computer screen. If the story is good, they are allowed to walk off but if it is bad or boring, Norton pulls a lever beside him and they are tossed backwards.
  • Camp Gay: Graham Norton himself; he doesn't come off as flaming but his clothes and some of his mannerisms convey the theme.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The research department is able to discover some truly obscure and embarrassing facts about guests and have evidence prepared to back up their claims (such as somehow finding Melissa McCarthy's original headshots when she was convinced she had the only copies left). The show even has contingencies in place for if a guest takes the lever away from Graham to prevent him from flipping people in the Big Red Chair (he just has to mime cranking the lever to signal the booth to play the sound effect and activate the chair).
  • Funny Foreigner: When Gérard Depardieu appeared on the show in 2012 and ended up telling Olly Murs that he would "look like bullshit" when he is older and calling Damian Lewis 'William'.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Graham Norton Show is considerably tamer and less sexual than his previous shows.
  • Odd Friendship: Sometimes, even the oddest guest combinations hit it off and produce the most interesting and funny episodes.
  • Oh Crap!: Liam Neeson when he meet his first confirmed fan in one episode. At first, he thought she was someone else...
  • Spiritual Successor: To Norton's previous shows mentioned above.
  • Studio Audience: Always filmed in front of one, and Norton interacts with them at least once per show.
  • V Sign: Daniel Radcliffe did this to Norton good-naturedly after being ribbed by Norton about the hair extensions he was wearing at the time.