Graham Norton wants to cut back on chat shows as he considers semi-retirement

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Graham Norton hosts his BBC chat show up to 36 weeks of the year (Credit: PA)

Graham Norton has admitted he would like to reduce the number of chat shows he makes in a year - so he has time for himself.

The 56-year-old comedian - who with an estimated salary of £615,000 is the third highest paid star at the BBC - has hosted The Graham Norton Show since 2007, chatting to A-List stars including Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cher and Taylor Swift, across 25 series to date.

Norton told US radio station SiriusXM: “Having observed friends of mine who’ve stopped working, it doesn’t seem like a great thing to do. What I might try to do is cut back on my workload.

Read more: Is Graham Norton the real top earner at BBC?

“What I might try to do is just cut back on my workload.

Graham Norton's star guests have included Madonna, to name but a few (Credit: PA)

“We are on air right now 35 to 36 weeks a year. So if I cut that down, maybe lob ten weeks off it, then I think that would be ideal. Then I would be able to stare at a wall, write a book, walk the dogs.”

The Irish presenter published his first novel Holding in 2016 and last year brought out second fictional book, A Keeper.

But he insisted he is not ready to retire from entertainment altogether.

He said: “What’s odd is, when you stop working you become a teenage girl.

“You start obsessing about minutiae. I don’t want to turn into that person.”

As well as hosting the flagship chat show for the BBC Norton is a regular guest on Radio 4 panel show Just A Minute and has taken over hosting the BBC’s coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest, taking over from the late Sir Terry Wogan.

Graham Norton presents the BBC coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest (Credit: Epsilon/Getty Images)

Norton found fame in the 90s, with a role in sitcom Father Ted and began his career as a chat show host on Channel 4 with his cheeky late night series So Graham Norton in 1998.

Read more: Sheridan Smith: Graham Norton joke tipped me over the edge

He has been named as one of the highest-paid stars at the BBC since the corporation was ordered to begin making its top salaries public.

But last year he said: “The salary thing, it’s frustrating, because it’s so inaccurate.

“There are people I know who make millions from the BBC who are just not on that list. It’s just like, really? It’s amazing that journalists just get that list, and they must know it’s rubbish. And they publish it like it’s gospel.”