His stand-up comedy drag act at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1992 as a tea-towel clad Mother Teresa of Calcutta made him overnight famous. So much so that there was no looking back for Irish comic and presenter Graham Norton. Having proven himself as one of the leading comics in the world, the 49-year-old accepts the Indian Catholic nun’s contribution to his success. Also known for The Graham Norton Show that has been on air since 2007, he is also kicked about series 12 of the popular British comedy chat show that premieres today on BBC Entertainment here.
Your association with India goes back to 1992 when your drag act as Mother Teresa of Calcutta gave you instant stardom. Do you someway credit her with laying the foundation for your success?
Mother Teresa was certainly pivotal to my success. I chose her because she studied English in Dublin.
What did she gain from that?
In my version, an Irish accent!
So would you ever consider hosting a chat show in India?
I long to host a show in India, and yet, strangely, no one has asked me.
Have you interviewed any Indian celebrities or Bollywood actors for that matter?
I was going to say Dev Patel, but then I remembered that he’s English.
Given a chance, would you like to star in a Bollywood film?
I would love to star in a Bollywood film, but it does look like a lot of hard work. In fact, it looks exhausting!
Britain is inundated with Indian food outlets. Have you tried some ever?
I do like Indian food, but I rarely seek it out. However, when it comes my way, I’m delighted!
How does it feel about doing series 12 of your long lasting show?
I still find it astonishing that I am doing series 12 of anything! If anyone had said to me 20 years ago that I would do a show for so long and still be enjoying it, I would have called them a liar.
Nuggets on Norton...
Full name: Graham William Walker
Stage name: Graham Norton
He has won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Entertainment Performance five times.
He is known for his camp demeanour, innuendo-laden dialogues and flamboyant presentation style.
He is openly gay.