Entertainment Theatre & Arts

Saturday 23 September 2017

Graham Norton 'embarrassed for Ireland' as his portrait artist turns out to be distant cousin

Gareth Reid with his portrait of Graham Norton
Gareth Reid with his portrait of Graham Norton
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

TV host Graham Norton joked that he was "embarrassed for Ireland" after it emerged the artist who won a commission to paint him turned out to be a distant cousin.

Belfast man Gareth Reid won the £10,000 (€11,487) commission after beating 54 international hopefuls to be crowned Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2017.

Mr Reid suspected that he was related to Norton after watching an episode of TV show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' which featured Norton.

The two men began to investigate the matter further while Mr Reid was working on the oil painting.

Gareth Reid chatting with the TV host
Gareth Reid chatting with the TV host

Research confirmed that Norton's great-grandfather was James Reynolds and Mr Reid's great-grandmother was Christina Reynolds, from Ballymena, Co Antrim.

The two were brother and sister. This connection means Norton and Mr Reid are, in fact, third cousins.

Mr Reid described Norton as "a great sitter", adding that he took direction very well. The portrait is now on display in The National Gallery of Ireland.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment