By John Ensor •
Published: 21 Oct 2023 • 17:43
Graham Norton with guests.
LAST night on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show, its host took a minute to apologise to a small Irish town.
On Friday, October 20, viewers of the popular Graham Norton Show witnessed an unexpected apology to Fermoy, a Cork town, much to the astonishment of renowned guests which included Joan Collins, Patrick Stewart, and Ralph Fiennes, writes CorkBeo.
The public apology stemmed from a previous week’s episode. During the closing ‘Big Red Chair’ segment, a Scottish guest named Zoe criticised Fermoy. The guest claimed she had lived there some years before
The backlash from the incident led a former Councillor and chairman of the Tidy Towns Committee to request an apology from the BBC. Addressing the matter, Norton began, ‘Before we do anything, I must begin with an apology!’
He continued: ‘Last week there was someone on the red chair, they were less than kind about the town of Fermoy in County Cork in Ireland.
‘Well, suffice to say, the good people of Fermoy were not happy – they were quite upset about it! So we would like to apologise.’
At the time Graham defended Fermoy, and said it was famous for an unusual landmark, referring to the iconic big pencil – the Faber Castell signpost formerly gracing the Dublin road. However, this wasn’t the end of the matter, as Norton clarified, ‘Sadly I must apologise again, because apparently the giant pencil has been removed.’
While the pencil might have vanished, the town’s accolades remain. Fermoy clinched the Tidy Towns title in 2008 and 2018. Norton remarked, ‘On the upside, Fermoy did win the cleanest town in Ireland in 2007 and 2018 so I’d imagine it’s still quite clean. Big up to Fermoy!’ His comments were met with hearty applause from the celebrity guests.
In an era where television moments often go viral, this heartwarming gesture by Norton towards a beloved Irish town, in front of Hollywood luminaries, is sure to be remembered.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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