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(OK, maybe we’re a bit biased in our title’s assessment, but we stand by it!)

Graham Norton seems like the kind of person who really enjoys his job. Why wouldn’t he? He makes a living chatting up the best of the best in entertainment. He is always having so much fun on The Graham Norton Show, and we have just as much fun watching him.

It makes us wonder, how did a boy from the South of Ireland end up in London, England, on national television, ultimately landing on BBC AMERICA (Fridays 11/10c)?

Let’s follow Graham’s story then and now:

He was born Graham William Walker in Clondalkin, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. He was raised in Bandon, County Cork, where he attended Bandon Grammar School, which is also a secondary school (equivalent to high school in the U.S.), graduating in 1981.

He made his way to London to attend The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He was clearly onto something majoring in speech, as in talking, as in talk show … but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The school was pleased to have him, including him on their list of High Profile Alumni.

Here’s a photo of a class in session from 2017. Just imagine, a twenty-something Graham trained in a classroom just like this one:

(Photo: Getty Images)

One of Graham’s earliest gigs was as a regular on BBC Radio 4’s morning show Loose Ends. Around this time, he legally changed his surname to Norton. He then took the hot seat, filling in for late-night host Jack Docherty.

Here’s Graham honing his interview skills in the 1990s, being his seriously funny self on The Jack Docherty Show:

In 1996, he co-hosted the game show Carnal Knowledge, revolving around sexual topics. Here he is getting a lap dance (the scene is all in fun, but it may be deemed NSFW):

Also in 1996, Graham had a go at acting, appearing in three episodes of Father Ted as Father Noel Furlong:

He moved on to host the 1997 panel show called Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment:

These early clips illustrate Graham’s natural talent as a comic and TV personality. While the shows may have had short runs, he kept on going.

In 1998, he hosted his own show entitled So Graham Norton. Here he is interviewing Joan Rivers and Boy George:

He followed up with another show named after him, V Graham Norton, starting in 2002. Here he is sitting down with the late Heath Ledger: 

Graham took a brief hiatus from the U.K., moving to the U.S. to star in 2004’s Comedy Central’s The Graham Norton Effect:

In 2005, he made his return to London, landing on BBC. He hosted both Strictly Dance Fever and Graham Norton’s Bigger Picture:

From 2006 through 2010, Graham helped Andrew Lloyd Webber cast his famed musical productions for the stage, hosting four competition shows.

Here’s a clip pulled from How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? after one of the contestants dropped out (Graham wasn’t overly empathetic):

In 2007, he co-hosted the first annual Eurovision Dance Contest and became a regular host for The British Television Academy Awards. He both hosts the ceremony and wins a BAFTA in the below clip:

In the same year, he traced back his Irish roots in the 2007 episode of Who Do You Think You Are?:

And, tidying up the trajectory of his TV career, also in 2007, Graham kicked off The Graham Norton Show which we know and love him for today:

You know you’re doing something right when back-to-back TV shows are named after you.

If you’d like to get to know Graham even better, he published a memoir in 2014 entitled The Life and Loves of a He Devil.

If you’d like to read this page-turner with a nice glass of wine, how about a selection from GN Wines? Yep, that’s right, Graham doesn’t just make amazing TV, he makes vino:

And, finally, you can have a catch up with Graham on Friday nights with The Graham Norton Show on BBC America, at 10/9c… without even leaving your home.

We have a feeling you might be hankering for more Graham this very moment, and we are here to please, check out these 10 ridiculously fun Graham Norton moments we’re thankful for.

Do you feel like you know Graham a little bit better now? 

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By Brigid Brown