Graham Norton says he didn’t want to be gay
Graham Norton has revealed that while growing up, he didn’t want to be gay.
The eight-time BAFTA-winning chat show host opened up about the way in which widespread anti-gay sentiment in Ireland made him want to avoid the truth about his sexuality.
“There were gay bars in Dublin and Cork but I didn’t know. And also I wasn’t even sure that I was [gay],” he said on ITV’s This Morning on Tuesday.
“Those realisations come to you suddenly, because you don’t want to be,” he added.
“So you’re kind of thinking: ‘Oh maybe I’m not.'”
The star of The Graham Norton Show welcomed the cultural shifts which have happened in Ireland — like legalising equal marriage — since he moved to London from his home in Cork to train as an actor after university.
“How Ireland has changed,” he said. “Ireland is such an optimistic, hopeful, lovely place right now.
“And it’s young people getting engaged in politics and turning their country around.”
Earlier this month, the host revealed that it was impossible for him to reveal his true sexuality because gay people had no visibility in Ireland.
Norton, 55, said that “narrow-minded doesn’t cover” the attitudes in his homeland at the time, adding: “If I had come out, it would have been more than difficult. I may have been dead in a ditch.”
Norton isn’t completely enamoured with youth culture, however, revealing last month that he had deleted Tinder because his dates were “broken” and “damaged” people.
The British icon also said in June that he can’t use Grindr because of who he works for.
He said: “I couldn’t do Grindr, because you know, of what it is, and I work for the BBC and I felt Tinder was socially acceptable, I could do Tinder, but no more.
He also opened up about being single, saying: “I’ve failed all my relationship exams, and yes, it’s a different life, but I’m still living.
“You’re far better off finding ways to enjoy the life you’re living than mourning the life you’re not, which is a double whammy of unhappiness.”
Norton, who was revealed last year to be one of highest earners at the BBC, earning between £850,000 and £899,999, added: “And if you want someone to share your life, well, no one wants to share a miserable life.
“Look like you’re having fun, and someone might want to join the parade. A funeral cortege? Not so much.”
While he seems comfortable talking about his love life, he received criticism last year after pressuring actress Cara Delevingne into talking about hers on his show.
Watch the interview here: