The £5 million That Graham Norton Turned Down

Graham Norton has revealed that before he joined the BBC, he turned down an offer of £5 million to defect from Channel 4.

The Irish presenter, who has been resident on the BBC for nearly 10 years, told all in an excerpt from his forthcoming memoir, ‘The Live and Loves of a He Devil’.

“The BBC tried to recruit me for quite some time before I signed my first contract with them in 2005,” he writes.

“As long ago as the autumn of 2000, I remember standing in a dark street outside a restaurant in Tokyo while filming a documentary for Channel 4, listening to a breathless agent on the phone telling me that the BBC had offered me £5 million.”

“I turned it down. I know that sounds crazy, but I was very happy working where I was and the only thing the corporation seemed to be offering me was money. There were no actual shows for me to do.”

“Four years on, things were very different. I was ready to leave Channel 4 and explore the world of BBC entertainment. The other thing that had changed was the money on offer. It had gone down.”

“Even today, although I am paid handsomely, my salary still falls short of that initial offer. I’m not sure where they had found the sack of five million pound coins, but somewhere in the intervening four years they had apparently lost it.”

He also says that he benefited from the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand scandal, after which the pair were sacked for a prank call to the actor Andrew Sachs on Radio 2.

“Luck is a factor in any career and it turned out that Jonathan Ross’s very bad luck would become my good fortune.”

“When he and Russell Brand made those prank calls to the actor Andrew Sachs, in 2008, my BBC One chat show was in the graveyard shift on Monday evenings.”

“Inevitably, the newspapers had pitted it against Jonathan’s prime time Friday show but I took no pleasure in the events which eventually saw me taking over his slot.”

Norton’s book is out on October 23.

Source Credits: Yahoo News and Daily Mail

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