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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 21 April, 2019

7 of the best stories that have been told on Graham Norton's red chair

It’s truly the highlight of every episode.

p01xz873 Source: BBC

1. This story about a babysitter that had an absolutely perfect ending.

Two years ago Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Dawn French, Chris O’Dowd and Rod Stewart were guests on Graham Norton’s show. Altogether, 50% of the lineup were Irish.

So it was very unusual that this guy chatting away in the red chair was asked where in Ireland he was from and vaguely answered “Eh… The west.” Chris picked up on this, and eventually it became clear why this guy was being so secretive.

Source: SimonIwork/YouTube

John from the west told his story. His parents were stuck for a babysitter twenty years ago when he was a 10-year-old and their regular babysitter recommended her little brother who was 13 but “really sensible and very mature”. John had two brothers and a sister, so the babysitter’s brother had a lot on his plate.

John’s mam wasn’t sure about letting the babysitter’s brother look after her children, and it turned out she was right to be apprehensive. When his parents returned home, the curtains had been ripped off of the walls, glasses and plates were smashed, there was paint splattered on the floor and one of their sons had a bloody nose.

If this wasn’t bad enough John added:

I had clumps of hair missing because I tried to give myself a haircut.

The parents stood there for a moment, trying to take in what had happened in their home. Finally, John’s mother turned to the babysitter and said “You’re in real trouble Chris O’Dowd when I tell your mother about this.”

Chris did not see that coming.

chris o dowd

2. This man shared a painfully awkward story about when him and his girlfriend wanted to get a photo with Bono.

Steve from Belfast introduced himself, received a very strange comment from Jack Whitehall about the way he was sitting, and then told a story that would make most people physically cringe.

Source: TinTheDark/YouTube


For Steve’s anniversary, he headed to a fancy restaurant in Dublin with his girlfriend. They spotted Bono and a friend having dinner in the corner of the restaurant and deliberated over whether or not they should ask for an autograph or a photo.

Bono took a toilet break, so Steve and his girlfriend decided to approach Bono’s friend. Here’s what they said:

Do you think that Bono would mind if me and my girlfriend got a picture and an autograph? We’re big U2 fans and it’s our anniversary.

The friend told them “Well, he’s a very private person and we’re having dinner. Go back to your table, and if he’s OK with it, I’ll wave you back over.”

So Steve and his girlfriend returned to their table, nervously waiting for Bono’s response. A couple of minutes later, they were waved over. They gave the camera to Bono’s friend who took a photo of the three of them. They returned to their table and were delighted with themselves.

An hour later, Steve asked for the bill and the waiter said “No, your bill has been paid for.” Steve was confused and said “Who paid? Has Bono paid for our dinner?”

The waiter replied “No, it was Bruce Springsteen.” Steve and his girlfriend hadn’t realised that Bono’s mysterious friend was actually Bruce Springsteen. A classy way for Bruce to remind them, all the same.

3. When Tom Hanks recognised this man who was an extra in Saving Private Ryan.

Tom Hanks is known for being one of the friendliest men in Hollywood. People that work with him and meet him are in awe of his charm and courtesy. Recently Graham Norton mentioned that Tom’s “thing” was remembering the name and face of everybody that he ever meets.

This was proven two years ago on The Graham Norton Show when an actor called Adam Shaw came to tell a story.

Source: Clive Williamson/YouTube

Adam introduced himself as an actor from Pudsey (in Leeds) and within seconds had his chair flipped by Joseph Gordon Levitt.


As soon as Adam’s one chance to tell a story on Graham Norton was obliterated, Tom Hanks announced that he actually recognised him from somewhere. He asked “Have we ever worked together?” and Graham Norton allowed Adam to resume his place on the red chair.

Adam then began to explain:

I owe Tom a lot, because my very first acting job was Saving Private Ryan. On paper it looked great! I’m working with Tom – one of the best screen actors going, Spielberg – still the best director in the world… On paper it looked great.
Then on my first day I realised that I couldn’t swim.

At this point it all comes back to Tom. He says “Oh, that’s right! We were in the Higgins’ boats together.”

Adam continued his story:

I lied about being able to swim. I lied about being American. I’m actually actually from Pudsey. Then they put me in a fireproof suit and I’m going “Where’s the fire?”, so then I got burned to death.

Adam asked if Tom remembered that the assistant director put him in the water alongside him, where Adam turned to him and said “I’ve no idea what I’m doing.” Tom Hanks then recalled that Adam had just finished drama school. At this point the pair both questioned why Adam was there.

Anyway, long story short, Tom Hanks saved this guy from drowning while they were filming Saving Private Ryan.

4. From 1:30 onward, a man recounts the time his jogging partner really needed to use a toilet.

Andy from New Zealand was on a jog with his friend Dunk who, in Andy’s words, “really needed to go for a poo”. It was very kind of him to name and shame Dunk in this horrible story.

Source: BBC America/YouTube

The two men came across a toilet block. The men’s toilet was locked, but Dunk was beyond caring at that point and made his way to the women’s toilets. Unfortunately, they were also locked.

Frantically, Dunk ran to a bush and crouched down to do his business. Andy saw a huge dog bounding towards the bush, so Dunk pulled his shorts up and jogged off. 20 seconds later, the owner of the huge dog got to the bush and exclaimed “Aw! Roy! You naughty boy!” before proceeding to bag up Dunk’s shit and tie the bag to his belt.

Andy and Dunk watched as the dog owner walked off with Dunk’s poo swinging by his waist in a bag.

5. This Irish primary school teacher’s hilarious story about one of her pupils.

Orla, a teacher from Ireland who is living in the UK told a story about the day she taught her five and six-year-old pupils what cannibals do.

Source: The Graham Norton Show/YouTube

One day the class were looking at globes and a student pointed at Papua New Guinea and asked what it was. Orla decided to ask the students if they knew what Papua New Guinea was famous for, and since they were aged between five and six, naturally they had no idea.

Orla explained:

Well, they still eat humans there. It’s really strange. Does anybody know what that is when a human eats another human?

A little boy put up his hand to answer and told Orla “Yeah, I know. Lesbians.”

6. When this guest told Will Smith a special story.

The first guest on the red chair introduced herself as Yasmine and got an extremely friendly “Hey Yaz, what’s up baby?” from Will Smith.

whats up

She went on to tell a pretty funny story about accidentally robbing someone and was followed by Kate who told a story all about how her life got flipped, turned upside down, which Will Smith absolutely loved.

Source: BBC/YouTube

7. This woman who begs to have the lever pulled when her story got too weird.

A schoolteacher called Mia made an appearances to discuss her university reunion.

Source: BBC/YouTube

She stayed in a big country house with her pals from college and had a few drinks. Mia and her friend headed to the utility room to get some more drinks and the door shut behind them, trapping them in the room because there was no handle on the inside.

They were banging on the door, hoping to be let out for two hours until they gave up. It was in the middle of winter and the utility room was extremely cold, so they decided to focus on staying warm.

There was a dog basket in the utility room and some coats, so they decided to settle down and make a bed for the night. From watching Bear Grylls, they remembered that taking your clothes off helps you to stay warm so they decided they’d do that.

There’s no toilet. I really, really need a wee at this point. There’s just a bowl… with the dog basket. Y’know… That happens. Then one thing leads to another in the dog basket, and he gets injured…

Graham calls this story to a stop, completely astounded that this woman is coming onto a chat show to tell the world she had sex in a dog basket. Graham points out that all of the key moments in this story are missing and Mia explains that he misunderstood. She did not, in fact, have sex in a dog basket.

Graham asked what the hell “one thing led to another” was supposed to mean and Mia just rambles back on about this man’s injury, telling Graham that there was “a lot of blood everywhere.”

Graham is absolutely baffled, and Mia suddenly just says “Pull the lever, pull the lever, Graham. Please.”

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Kelly Earley

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