Graham Norton has joked that he’s “embarrassed for Ireland”, after it was revealed that an artist who won a chance to paint his portrait – turned out to be his distant cousin.
Belfast native Gareth Reid was crowned the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2017, and won the £10,000 (€11,487) commission to paint the popular chat show host.
However, after watching an episode of the BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, which featured Graham, the Irish artist suspected that he was related to Graham.
‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ is a show that uncovers past secrets when celebrities trace their ancestry.
The official “Nortrait”. @SkyArts #portraitartistoftheyear @CASSART @grahnort @NGIreland pic.twitter.com/55T5p3TdUu
— Gareth Reid (@TheReidArt) March 15, 2017
After suggesting that they may be related, Graham and Gareth began to investigate the matter.
Soon, research confirmed that Graham’s great-grandfather was James Reynolds and Gareth’s great-grandmother was Christina Reynolds, from Ballymena, Co Antrim, who were brother and sister.
This connection means that Graham and Gareth, are in fact – third cousins. The portrait is now on display in The National Gallery of Ireland.