Not The Jack Docherty Show (TV Recording): Whitehall Hall Theatre, London, 1997
Graham Norton Interviewed by Alice Levine: Emmanuel Centre, London, 2017
The only time I have ever seen Graham Norton live was at TV recording when he stood in as a guest host at a chat show I regularly attended when the main host was away on holiday. Norton presented Not The Jack Docherty Show. I was a massive fan of Jack Docherty and was very disappointed that he was not due to appear on this particular night. However, Norton was a rising comedy star and I could see he was going to be great. Darting around the stage involving the audience, the quick witted Irishman was very funny with fast talking enthusiasm for his guests that have since become his trademark. At the time, Norton was unknown and ironically Norton’s appearance on this show was to launch his chat show career. The only thing I had previously seen of him was on television appearing in a cameo as Father Furlong, a manic fast talking priest in a 1996 episode of the great Channel 4 situation comedy Father Ted. Indeed Graham Norton has gone onto major success interviewing major guest stars for The Graham Norton Show.
I saw Norton being interviewed by television and radio presenter Alice Levine in 2017. At the end of the interview, Norton took questions from the audience. I asked him if he would ever go back to stand-up comedy. He explained that he never thought that he was that good at it, only appearing second or third on the bill. I said I was very surprised as was proven later in the evening when someone asked what his story would be in the red chair and his answer was very rude and he couldn’t believe he telling the story in a church which as he revealed the story got the biggest laugh of the night. Norton is sharp, daring and witty with lightning quick reactions and a perfect fit for the chat show format. Comedians are of course great story tellers and Norton is one of the most amiable, friendly and warm host of his show for over twenty years.