Gay star to front talk show

Marc Shoffman December 12, 2006
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Gay TV personality Graham Norton has been given a new weekly talk show after BBC Two announced its Winter/Spring schedule this week.

Norton will present a brand new programme for the channel based on the people, trends, stories and aspects of celebrity culture that interest him most, and that would not make it onto the news.

The comedian, who moved from Channel 4 to a £5 million BBC deal in 2004, has struggled to find a suitable show on the channel. He recently presented late-night news magazine programme The Bigger Picture, followed by talent contest How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

The star, who recently caused controversy by admitting to prolific drugs use, will front a show aptly named, The Graham Norton Show

BBC Two’s flagship programme for the season will be The Verdict.

Sara Payne, Stan Collymore, Ingrid Tarrant and Michael Portillo are among the 12 high-profile jurors sitting in judgement over a complete fictional court case.

Due to be shown early next year, this fictional case involves an internationally famous footballer and his friend who are on trial for rape.

It is totally unscripted and improvised by actors, drawing on evidence and examples from real life.

A real judge will preside over the case with barristers acting for the prosecution and defence

Roly Keating, Controller of BBC Two, said: “This is a hugely ambitious project which brings the law to life in a completely new way.

“It will be fascinating to follow the twists and turns of the case, see the dynamics and power struggles within the jury, learn about the jury system with its inherent flaws and strengths – and engage with the whole experience even more deeply on broadband.”

He added, “We’ve had a strong autumn, with a broad range of impactful programmes in peak, and I feel confident that we will continue to give viewers the fresh ideas, bold projects, smart talent and mix of programming that they expect from the channel in 2007.”

The seasons sees the return of Top Gear, as well as Louis Theroux with more cleverly authored documentaries that take a sideways look at some of life’s more intriguing characters and Jennifer Saunders in The Life And Times Of Vivienne Vyle.

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