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Graham Norton spoke on This Morning about his struggle to identify as Irish

‘Ireland is such an optimistic, hopeful, lovely place right now.’

GRAHAM NORTON IS currently switching his chatshow presenting role for that of a guest.

He’s on the book trail for his new release, A Keeper, after having great success with his debut, Holding. 

PastedImage-31116 Hodder Hodder

Yesterday, he appeared on This Morning to discuss the book with everyone’s faves. 


He spoke about why he started writing books (it was turning 50) and why he’d never do a live version of the Graham Norton Show.


Graham also opened up about his writing process, and where he gets the ideas for his stories. The source is an obvious one. 

I love the process of writing. The first book, actually both books have come from stories my mother told me. 
The first book was about an abandoned house we saw and it was totally left intact, nature had taken the house back, and I kinda spiralled that into a story. 

He also noted that this means a lot of the material in the book is from real Cork life. 

This story was about one she told me about someone who had responded to a lonely hearts ad, and all going well, corresponding with this farmer, and there’s a twist in the book, the one about the letters is real.

In fact, if you live around West Cork or Kilkenny, you might find yourself recognising some places. 

I’ve stolen lots of locations for this book, these are all places I know around West Cork, around Kilkenny, that I knew from my childhood. But the characters are all invention. 

However, Phil asked Graham about a previous statement he had made, claiming he found it difficult to identify as Irish.

Why? It’ll come to a shock to absolutely no one, that it was all about religion. 

You were kinda made to feel like that in a way, I grew up in Southern Ireland as a Protestant, only about three or four percent of the population are Protestant. 
So, there’s a thing in Ireland where people would sign letters to newspapers, so and so, a good Irish Catholic. And it seemed like you needed all three of those words to be any of them.
So without the Catholic, you felt, can I be a real Irish person? You were made feel less yet, I can be anything else, I can’t lay claim on any other nationality.

He opened up about his current struggle to even comprehend that, saying, “I am Irish. It’s taking me a long time really to get my head around that and own my Irishness”. 

Norton was only 20 when he left Ireland for the UK, but he still visits Cork every summer and keeps a watchful eye on Irish politics. 

“Ireland is such an optimistic, hopeful, lovely place right now and it’s young people doing it, getting engaged with politics and turning the country around, I think it’s amazing”.

This Morning / YouTube

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