UK Eurovision commentator Graham Norton has been recognised tonight during the National TV Awards with the Special Recognition Award for his career spanning twenty years on British television screens.
In a long commemorative video, the Irish born television presenter was celebrated for his Friday night talk show, The Graham Norton Show, his impact on big Saturday night television shows such as How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria and Let It Shine as well as his starring role as the Eurovision Song Contest commentator for the United Kingdom, a role which he has taken to like a duck to water – even pleasing the late Terry Wogan in his delivery of the commentary.
The Graham Norton Show takes Friday nights by storm
Huge stars from Dame Judy Dench and Will Smith to Dame Helen Mirren and Ed Sheeran gave their memories of enjoying time with Norton, including on his chat show with Will Smith describing it as “a tennis match[…]in which he sets you up to win”.
His eponymous television show, The Graham Norton Show, has now run for over 300 episodes and has featured some of the world’s greatest stars of film, theatre and music each week during the show’s run including on Channel 4 in its original form, SO Graham Norton and then V Graham Norton. His BBC show began on BBC Two in 2007 before moving to BBC One in 2009.
One of the show’s most infamous segments is the visit to the Red Chair. Last week’s episode with Ed Sheeran featured one of the greatest moments of Red Chair history.
Becoming the voice of Eurovision in the United Kingdom
In 2009, Graham Norton took the British seat in the commentary box, following Terry Wogan’s stepping down from the role. He took up the key presenting position in the UK selection show, Eurovision: Your Country Needs You, which chose Jade Ewen to sing “It’s My Time”, the Andrew Lloyd Webber written track which gave the United Kingdom a 5th place result at the competition in Moscow, Russia.
From then, he has settled into delivering his signature comedy style during the show and giving the British viewing audience a little bit of background into the artists representing their nations in the Eurovision finals on an annual basis.
You can see some of Graham Norton’s commentary in the montage video below from the 2015 contest in Vienna, Austria.
“It’s the only way I can get one of these over Ant and Dec.”
Norton was stunned to hear he had won the award. In response to seeing the video tape that celebrated his television career, Radio Times reported he said “I feel so old, I feel like the NTAs have invited me to my own funeral. Turns out it was great! Will Smith and my mother were there. And Dolly Parton.”
“To keep a show on the air for that long isn’t that easy, and in my case it’s sort of a miracle. I’m not the funniest, I’m not the hardest worker, but I am the luckiest.”
The whole team at escXtra would also like to give their congratulations to Graham Norton. We cannot wait to hear what you’ve got to say during the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine.