Graham Norton ‘furious’ over his last BBC Radio 2 show: ‘It suddenly struck me’

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Graham Norton, 57, is not happy with how his last day at BBC Radio 2 went, admitting he is “furious” at himself for his actions before leaving the broadcaster’s airwaves after 10 years. The chat show host has now moved across to Virgin Radio, which is home to fellow TV personality Chris Evans, who actively encouraged Graham to join.

Opening up on his last day in the BBC recording studio, Graham said: “I went into the last one thinking I’m just going to say, ‘Bye-bye, I’m out of here.’

“But I did, annoyingly, get a bit emotional at the end, which I was furious about. I’ve been part of listeners’ lives for 10 years and they’ve been part of mine.”

He added that he realised that his show had been a “soundtrack” to people’s weekends and this filled him with nostalgia from his time at the public broadcaster.

Graham continued: “ A lot of living goes on on a Saturday morning and to be a soundtrack to that… it suddenly struck me as kind of lovely.”

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The star was inspired to move across to Virgin Radio after he appeared on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, to publicise the launch of his book.

He shared: “I was there to flog a book and he [Chris Evans] was teasing me about moving to Virgin.

“I was thinking, “This is jammy, it’s lovely, close to my house, nice view, big studio.”

Graham was not at that moment seeking a new job, but an opportunity arose for him to join the channel and he could not resist accepting their offer.

He continued to this week’s Radio Times: “I wasn’t looking for a new job but Virgin got in touch and much to my own surprise.”

The radio host divulged that he had not considered moving station before as he is “so lazy”.

One of the deciding factors behind his moved from the BBC was being included on the yearly high earners report that the public broadcaster is made to publish.

He told The Sun: “The high earners list, which I didn’t like being on, hey, now I’m not.

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“So to that extent it made me go, but that was a bonus of leaving, it wasn’t the biggest driving force,” he added.

In last year’s report, he was ranked the third highest-paid star behind Match Of The Day’s Gary Lineker and Radio 2 Breakfast host Zoe Ball.

The list was forced upon the BBC to be published yearly back in 2017, after complaints about gender pay-gaps.

The five-time BAFTA award winner says another selling point was that he had fallen in love with the scenic location of the Virgin Radio studios, that is close to where he lives in South East London.

He said of Virgin’s high-rise Thames-side studio complex: “It is so modern. I feel like a Bond baddie in my lair, surveying London.”

After a glittering career, and finding himself still working consistently at age 57, Graham says he feels fortunate to still be in a job.

He added of his latest move: “I think it’s to do with this weird year and realising how fortunate we are to work and how important it is that someone cares where you are.”

The Graham Norton Radio show continues Saturday on Virgin Radio at 9.30am.

Read the full interview in Radio Times  – on sale now.

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