Lorraine Kelly, 59, hit headlines earlier this year after winning her £1.2 million tax case against HMRC. The ITV presenter sent Twitter into meltdown after the tax tribunal judge ruled she was an actress of sorts, a “theatrical artist” who portrayed a “persona of herself” on screen. In an interview with this week’s Radio Times, BBC favourite Graham Norton cited the controversial event when he was asked about his own on-screen persona. Graham revealed he had once hosted a show, I’d Do Anything, back in 2008, while his mother was in intensive care in hospital.
“If the audience had known that I wasn’t sure my mother was going to be alive by the time I got off set, they’d have thought, ‘He’s a monster,’” he told the publication.
Asked whether he liked that about himself, that he could leave his mothers side for work when she was seriously ill, he said: “It is slightly unsettling, a startling disconnect that you can do that.
“If I’d interviewed Robert Mugabe and was telling him, ‘Ooh, I love your suit,’ I probably wouldn’t like myself. But if you’re just doing your job to the best of your ability, I don’t think that’s a bad quality,” he insisted.
Working up to the debate surrounding the concept of Lorraine Kelly as an actress, Graham continued: “If an actor went on and did a show, people would understand more because they’ve learnt the lines and they’re not themselves, but I’m supposedly myself.
“In fact, not to go down the Lorraine Kelly route, I have learnt the lines and I’m not really myself,” he added.
“I’m a man in a shiny suit saying, ‘Next up is Somerset Nancy.’”
Lorraine Kelly tax: Graham Norton took a cheeky swipe at the ITV star (Image: BBC • ITV)