Graham Norton speaks out on chat show changes amid move away from BBC: ‘Sort of terrible’

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Graham Norton, 57, has addressed changes that have been forced to take place on his popular BBC chat show, The Graham Norton Show. Speaking out on how Covid security has impacted his star-studded programme, Graham admitted it has become “sort of terrible” due to the lack of a studio audience.

Graham has continued to front his popular show during lockdown with celebrity guests speaking to him via video link from their homes.

He divulged while speaking to his new Virgin Radio colleague Chris Evans on his Breakfast show this morning: “Before Christmas we lost our audience but the team would come in to make it sound like there were people there. 

“But now we’re being super careful, it’s a bare minimum in the studio. Last night was the first time doing that.”

Although Graham has some reservations about how the show has adapted to coronavirus restrictions during the pandemic, he insisted the changes are “kind of fun too”.

READ MORE… Chris Evans ‘different and happy’ after leaving BBC for Virgin Radio

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He added: “And it’s sort of terrible but kind of fun too. 

“Kind of like your parents have left the building and you’ve got the keys to the drinks cabinet.”

The former BBC Radio 2 host went on to say he and the team are always careful to make sure social distancing rules are being adhered to.

He continued: “We’re all masked, even I’m masked in rehearsals now because what you don’t want is for anything to go wrong. 


“Because it’s not just me and an audience. That show provides employment for hundreds of people. 

“So if anything goes wrong and we had to shut down, that would be terrible.”

Graham’s comments come after he quit hosting his BBC Radio 2 show after 10 years for a move to Virgin Radio.

In an interview from today’s broadcast, Graham took the opportunity to thank Chris for encouraging him to join Virgin Radio.

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Chris recalled: “The last time you were on the breakfast show you said, ‘It’s lovely here and I said, ’It is, it is’. 

“And you said, ‘You seem so different and happy,’ and I said, ‘I know’.” 

Explaining the differences between hosting the two radio shows, Chris continued: “I loved working at Radio 2, but I didn’t realise there was another level of joy to be had. 

“And you got the same vibe didn’t you?” He quizzed The Graham Norton Show presenter.

Graham agreed: “I really did. And you were saying ‘oh you should come and work here’. 

“And as I left thinking ‘well, that will never happen, but actually that would be quite nice’.”

Graham is set to host his first show on Virgin Radio this weekend after departing Radio 2 last month.

The Chris Evans Virgin Radio Breakfast show with Sky airs weekdays from 6:30am.

The Graham Norton Show airs tonight at 10.45pm on BBC One.

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