Graham Norton promises ‘same old me’ as he begins Virgin Radio show


Graham Norton joked that his new listeners at Virgin Radio should expect the “same old me” as he made his debut as a weekend host on the station.

The chat show host, who departed BBC Radio 2 in December after a decade on air, kicked off his new slot with a song by “the original virgin” – Hung Up by Madonna.

The 57-year-old has followed in the footsteps of ex-Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans in joining Virgin Radio, and Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman is replacing him in his former slot.

Starting his show on Saturday morning, Norton thanked early morning presenter Amy Voce for her glowing introduction.

He said: “Yes, that is my name. Thank-you very much to Amy for the last few hours.

“So this is it. New station, new year, new show. Sadly same old me as the jingle indicated.

“I am Graham Norton and I am here for the next three hours or so and tomorrow as well – fair warning.

“So what have we got? We have got some rambling chat, a couple of guests and of course some great music. Let’s kick off with the original virgin.”

He was joined by long-standing presenting partner Maria McErlane, who is known for co-hosting the Grill Graham agony aunt segment on Radio 2.

They tackled the problems of his new Virgin Radio listeners as part of Graham’s Guide, helping siblings settle a Christmas dispute.

Norton also expressed excitement at being in control of the buttons on his studio desk, after years at the BBC having an assistant in command.

“You know I am pressing the buttons,” he told McErlane.

“This is me running before I can walk. I am going to try and create a brand new jingle for you.”

She replied: “That has given me all the feels Graham. I am crying here.”

Maria McErlane on Virgin Radio
Maria McErlane on Virgin Radio

His other music selections on the show included Tonight Is The Night by McFly and Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams

Norton broadcast his final Radio 2 programme from London’s Wogan House in December – 10 years after his first Saturday morning show for the station.

He joined Radio 2 in 2010 to host the 10am to 1pm slot on Saturdays, taking over from Jonathan Ross.

Figures released in September showed he was among the top earners at the broadcaster and he took about £725,000 home for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not his BBC One chat show.

Graham Norton is on Virgin Radio on Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

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