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Graham Norton, born Graham William Walker is an Irish actor, comedian and television personality, best known as the host of the BBC One chat show The Graham Norton Show as well as the presenter of BBC Radio 2's Saturday mid-morning show from October 2, 2010 until December 19, 2020. Norton is a main judge on RuPaul's Drag Race UK (alternating with Alan Carr, similar to Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley on the American version) and host of Queen of the Universe.

Biography

Norton was born Graham William Walker on April 4th, 1963 in Clondalkin, County Dublin, and grew up in a Protestant (Church of Ireland) family in Bandon, County Cork. His father's family were from County Wicklow, while his mother is a native of Belfast. He discovered during a 2007 episode of the genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? that his father's direct ancestors were English, having originated in Yorkshire before emigrating to Ireland in 1713. Norton was educated at Bandon Grammar School in West Cork and then University College, Cork, where he spent two years studying English and French in the 1980s, but did not complete his studies after having a breakdown and refusing to leave his dorm room.

He later received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2013. In the late 1980s, he moved to London to attend the Central School of Speech and Drama. He also worked as a waiter during that time. Upon joining the actors' union Equity, he chose "Norton" (his great-grandmother's maiden name) as his new surname as there was already an actor called Graham Walker represented by the union.

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