'It's the law of diminishing returns, but in the beginning it's fun!' - Graham Norton reveals what it's like to date him
In part four of our video series with Graham Norton he tells Barry Egan about losing faith in romance and reveals what it's like to date him.
Despite leaving Ireland in the early 80s, Graham Norton is a regular visitor to his hometown of Bandon in Cork, and he says Ireland is less homophobic now.
“As I say in my book, I have me and my bands of merry men wandering around Bantry during the summer. And, you know, I’m sure people talk about us behind our backs, but to my face I have never had any problems, or anyone shouting anything out or any homophobic abuse or anything like that.”
He adds, laughing, "I might find out who they were! You can do it in London because I am not going to track you down to your mammy’s house.”
So, what’s it like to go out with Graham Norton?
“To date me? Oh, I think it is the law of diminishing returns! But in the beginning, it’s fun!”
Graham Norton says he “used to be a romantic man. I don’t know if I am any more. Maybe I’ve just lost faith in romance. “
Because of [first love] Ashley?
“No. Well, he certainly didn’t help! But many people,” he laughs, “along the way. But maybe that’s just the mood I’m in today. Maybe if you talked to me tomorrow, I’d go: ‘Yes, I do believe in romance.’”
Is he dating anyone at the moment?
“I love the ‘at the moment’! I’m not dating anyone at the moment! I’m 51!”
What he has learned from his five decades on planet earth is, Graham says, that “it is nice being 51. It is nice not running around like a headless chicken and being quite settled and quite content and comfortable in your own skin. And quite sure of who you are. You know, a lot of the insecurities. . . yes, they are still insecurities.” I ask him what is he still insecure about. “Er . . .I don’t know!” he grimaces.
Is he insecure he will never find his big love?
“No, I am fairly certain about that!” he hoots. “Again, I think you need to be quite young and foolish to meet your big love. Because the longer you live, the more when you meet someone you kind of know how that story ends. And sometimes it kind of goes: ‘Ok, I’ll go with this.’ But you know the story ends. I think for it really to work you need to be either very young and kind of go ‘this is going to be forever’ — and you genuinely believe that — or you are very, very old and you think this romance might out-live me!” he laughs again.
I tell him, slightly charitably perhaps, that 51 is still young.
“Fifty-one is not young!” Graham guffaws. “Let’s not kid ourselves! It is in the middle there somewhere. But what I’m saying is, 51 is a hard place to be a foolish romantic. You’d look like an idiot if you were a foolish romantic at 51, whereas I think if you are 80 then it is very easy to be a lovely, foolish romantic, because even if you date them for two years it might see you out.”
The Life And Loves Of A He-Devil by Graham Norton is published by Hodder & Stoughton, price €28.99 hardback