Graham Norton has revealed the personal reason he decided to leave Ireland.
The popular talk show host was born in Clondalkin in Dublin, and grew up in Bandon Co. Cork – before deciding to move to London in the late 1980s.
The 57-year-old spoke to The Irish Independent about his decision to leave, where he admitted he took “the easy way out and left”.
“I moved where the gays were,” he said, “I went to London. Where nobody knew me so there was none of that scariness and there were gay bars that were just on the street so I could walk in, and meet other gay people.”
“And I don’t want to be glib about it, because those people who stayed, who went on the marches and did the petitions, are nameless and faceless and I’ll never get to actually thank them, but they did the hard work.
“I am aware that Ireland isn’t Nirvana – and I think if young people hear me talking they’ll think ‘what is wrong with him? It’s horrible here…’ Well, try being here in the late ’70s!
“People should be proud of themselves. Ireland is transformed,” Graham added.
As part of the acknowledgements for his new book Home Stretch, Graham thanked “all the people who stayed in Ireland to fight for the modern tolerant place it has become.”
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