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Modest Norton rejects hometown statue but pledges surprise


Graham Norton. Photo: PA

Graham Norton. Photo: PA

Graham Norton. Photo: PA

MANY of the greats long to see a life-size statue of themselves – but not so funnyman Graham Norton.

The Irish presenter has turned down the chance to have a statue of himself erected in his hometown of Bandon in Co Cork.

The humble TV star (50) has asked locals not to commemorate and celebrate his celebrity status by erecting a statue, which was to be crafted by a local west Cork artist.

Norton asked the committee of Cork Rebel Week, the county's key event for The Gathering, to disregard plans for the statue this week.

"Mr Norton has communicated to our Bandon committee that he feels, during these recessionary times, a statue would not be an appropriate proposition, which we were happy to take on board," said organiser of the festival, Padraic O'Kane.

Graham received the news about the statue on his 50th birthday and said at the time he thought it was a joke.

He went on to say he thought the large statue would be an eyesore on the beautiful Bandon landscape.

"They haven't made one yet, thank God," he said in an interview with What's On TV last week. "Thank you for reminding me – I must write to them and beg them not to. It's such a waste of money and would look hideous."

Cork Rebel Week and the Bandon Host Town Committee had hoped Graham would return for the official unveiling in October this year.

There may be no statue, but the chat show host has proposed a surprise alternative.

Organisers said they are involved "in talks with Norton" about his involvement with the event.

"Graham has expressed his support of an alternative proposal – the details of which will be released very soon by Cork Rebel Week.

"We are obviously very excited to have received such a response from Mr Norton, and we are looking forward to sharing our new plan with the public," said Mr O'Kane.