Graham Norton speaks out against knife crime 20 years after near-fatal stabbing

Amy West
Graham Norton addresses the growing knife crime epidemic, having been a victim of a near-fatal stabbing back in 1989 (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Graham Norton has spoken out about the ongoing knife crime epidemic, two decades after he was the victim of a near-fatal stabbing.

In an interview with The Mirror, the BBC chat show host admitted that news stories surrounding the subject have become so frequent that hearing about them “doesn’t trigger anything” to do with the incident anymore.

Recalling how he was threatened with a knife again much more recently, Norton said: “What’s so sad about the knife crime now is that everyone is a victim in the end.

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“People are losing their lives and equally the kids stabbing people, their life is destroyed for nothing... for this stupid thing because they couldn’t get their heads around the consequences.”

Graham Norton at The Victoria and Albert Museum Summer Party, 2019. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The 56-year-old blamed “dehumanised” natures and “lack of imagination” for the escalating number of attacks, saying that if they could “think it through, that the person [they’re] stabbing could be a brother, friend, sister, mother or father, [they] wouldn’t do it.

Norton went on to claim that while the weapon seems to be more commonplace these days, he doesn’t think the violence itself is a particularly modern problem.

"Young people are incredibly cruel to each other,” he explained. “Bullying has always been incredibly vicious. I think young people can be quite cynical and brash and brutal; it’s a modern malady but if you read Dickens, crime was horrific.

Host Graham Norton with (seated left to right) Tom Hanks, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)

“It’s more about economics than modern society. It’s about people with nothing and if you’ve nothing to lose, that’s a really scary place to be.”

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Opening up about the injuries he suffered when he was stabbed in the chest in Kilburn, London back in 1989, Norton recalled: “It was very serious. It was a mugging, I didn’t even realise I’d been stabbed in that classic way, because your adrenaline is pumping.

“I looked down, and I saw all this blood. I lost a bit over half my blood. So it was very touch and go, I think.”