Graham Norton Its Easier To Find Love If Youre Straight
He has just extended his multi-million pound contract with the BBC and his latest book is flying off the shelves.
But today Graham Norton reveals he has paid a heavy price at home for his success.
While Britain’s favourite TV chat show host is the go-to presenter for huge live gigs and late-night hilarity, he has struggled to find lasting love.
“Work comes first,” he says.
“But because I’ve worked so hard to get where I am, I continue to prioritise my job over other bits of my life. That’s probably very foolish, something I’ll live to regret.”
He adds: “When I look back at my romantic history, I have to say it’s taken second place to my job. Perhaps I don’t expect my love affairs to last. Or it could just be that I have a low attention span.”
And he thinks it might have been easier if he were straight – but not for the usual reasons.
He says: “I have a theory. I think there’s something about having a male partner that makes it more difficult.
“This will sound sexist but that doesn’t mean it’s any less true. If I were a straight man, my female partner would have a role in the eyes of society. She would be the mother of my children, my hostess, the person on my arm at red carpet events. She would have a defined function.
“But that’s not the case if your partner is male. Every man – no matter how young or fey – has something of the alpha in him.
“So all the things they thought they’d enjoy about going out with me become loathsome in the end because they haven”t earned it for themselves. Increasingly, that puts a strain on the relationship.”
But Graham isn’t a man for dwelling on the past.
He says: “If you live your life full of regret, it’s a negative thing. It’s like you’re dragging a dead weight behind you. You need to make your peace with whatever it is and then move on.”
The presenter is currently single and says the nearest he has to significant others are his two dogs, a labradoodle called Bailey and Madge the terrier.
Darren Goff/Ken Goff Photos LtdLone wolf: Graham is often spotted out walking his dogs
He says: “They’re my heart’s delight. But we tend to love our dogs differently because we know that it’s going to be a temporary love. Barring a bus hitting me, Bailey and Madge are going to go first. In a way, that makes you adore them more or, at any rate, in a different way.”
So Graham is more likely to spend time with the dogs at his London home than partying with his celebrity guests – despite what his legions of fans might think.
He says: “They assume I hang out with guests from my show and know a wide circle of famous people. I’m not sure how I’ve been doing this job for so long without knowing famous people. But I don’t.”
The late I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball and Fifty Shades of Grey hunk Jamie Dornan would be his ideal dinner guests.
But the Irishman would run a mile from political firebrand George Galloway, who is one of his least favourite people.
RexNot a fan: Graham says he wouldn”t “p*** on George Galloway if he was on fire
He says: “I mean, I wouldn’t p*** on George Galloway if he was on fire. He used to be MP for Bethnal Green and Bow near where I live. I fundamentally disagreed with more or less everything he stood for.”
Mostly, though, Graham says he looks for the best in people.
“I’m a happy person,” he says. “But then I have a ridiculously nice life. I’m having the most fun. But wouldn’t it be terrible if my best days were already behind me?
“I remember a particular Peanuts cartoon strip from when I must have been about 14. Charlie Brown and Lucy were chatting. She was saying, ‘You know, in every life, there must be one day that’s better than all the rest’. Charlie has a think and then says, ‘But what if you’ve had it?’
“That struck me as quite a profound thought for a little cartoon. You’ve got to live life believing the best is yet to come.”
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