Graham Norton on Hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in U.K.


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Graham Norton is just one of the U.K.’s most effective-liked hosts. As nicely as interviewing attendees from Tom Cruise to Adele on his weekly chat clearly show, “The Graham Norton Display,” he is infamous for his biting commentary of the Eurovision Track Contest on BBC One, where he does not hesitate to poke (light) exciting at both equally the establishment and the acts.

And, as Range exposed past year, now Norton is the host of “Queen of the Universe,” a new drag queen singing competition from Planet of Ponder, the producers behind “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” which also functions Leona Lewis, Trixie Mattel, Michelle Visage and Vanessa Williams on the judging panel.

Forward of Paramount+ launching in the U.K. on June 22, Norton sat down with Range to focus on drag queens, Eurovision and whether he would ever perform in late night time Television.

You no question get requested to host a whole lot of projects. What was it about “Queen of the Universe” that produced you say ‘yes’?

Effectively, for me, you know, I do get asked to do factors. And most it is, 1) I do not want to watch that, 2) I just can’t be bothered to depart my residence. So this – it was a really easy indeed. It’s drag queens and it is worldwide drag queens and they’re singing stay. So I just thought, yeah, there is a whole lot there that I’m heading to get pleasure from.

When you commentate the Eurovision Music Contest you have this somewhat acerbic tone. Have you taken a various solution to this?

Yeah, I believe this is a great deal far more of a type of pure celebration of these queens. Because in Eurovision, you know, some issues are just terrible. They are just poor. I think I’m not as harsh as I was 12 several years in the past when I commenced [commentating Eurovision]. But on this, it is a enormous talk to for these queens, due to the fact if they complete in community at all, it’ll be in the backroom of a bar, it will be in some smaller, minimal theatre. So to ask them to do this exhibit, wherever they occur all-around a corner, and instantly there is an great lighting rig, a large audience, world-wide superstars judging them. It’s a ton. The reality that they handle it at all is remarkable. And then the point that they take care of it at the stage they do I locate brain blowing. So the notion of trying to, you know, chip away at them or undermine them in any way, just would not cross my brain, due to the fact I’m just so in awe of what they’re handling to do.

Do you at any time obtain yourself disagreeing with the judges?

Certainly. Since, you know, let’s deal with it, normally your favourite efficiency there might be a flat observe in it someplace, or there may well be a dropped lyric somewhere. But if the staging and the emotion and the charisma is all there then I can forgive tons of that things – which is specially why I’m not on the panel.

What was your favorite element of building the clearly show?

To be genuine, the detail that I appreciated the most was the point I wasn’t anticipating, and that was how emotional the total factor was. Because you variety of imagine, oh, it is an global singing competition… What I stupidly hadn’t taken on board was that intercontinental signifies that a ton of these drag queens are coming from countries in which they are not recognized. They’re not celebrated. It is not easy to do this and so to see their minor hearts swell with the audio of the applause, and a group loving them, and a group telling them you’re not just great more than enough, you are excellent. It moved them and then that moved me. And that was type of – later on of course you really feel like an fool, like, of program that was likely to happen. But it just hadn’t crossed my head, you know, because we’re so utilized to all of these issues in this state. So that seriously warmed my coronary heart. I cherished that.

I didn’t know you’re this sort of a softie Graham!

[Slightly sarcastically] I’m this sort of a softie.

There were being probably a lot of surreal times, internet hosting a drag queen singing levels of competition, but what was the most surreal?

There had been lots of really odd props. There was a significant rainbow unicorn backstage that anyone experienced to sit on at some point. There ended up massive, big, ridiculous props. And then in the finale, myself and the judges do get involved in a output selection. I feel we did it in two can take, which form of shocked me.

Do you sing?

No. I do not believe – or did I? Probably I do lip-synch to my possess voice. I simply cannot keep in mind. But, but we’re in it. I’ll inform you that.

With Ukraine regrettably unable to host Eurovision subsequent calendar year due to Russia’s war, there’s talk of the competitors coming to the U.K. Will you host Eurovision if it’s in the Uk, instead than commentating?

We have no notion. I mean, I feel it is so – I sense so lousy for the EBU [European Broadcasting Corporation, who run Eurovision] that they experienced to make that decision, which no one needed them to make, and they didn’t want to make. So I know the BBC are searching at it definitely very seriously. But it’s too early to say.

“The Graham Norton Show” is these a strike, and CBS are hunting for a new “The Late Late Show” host immediately after James Corden leaves – has undertaking one thing in the U.S. ever crossed your intellect?

No. I necessarily mean, in that, I did [early 2000s show “V Graham Norton”] five nights a 7 days listed here it should be 20 decades ago. And that is this sort of a hard gig. It is like becoming a member of the priesthood. So I really do not know how James has performed it for as very long as he has. Hats off to him. But no, that does not attractiveness. That is a appropriate job.

By diana

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