Art show winner set to put Norton in National Gallery

Gareth Reid has won a career-enhancing commission to paint chat show host Graham Norton, with the end product to hang in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Gareth Reid, the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, with Graham Norton, who he will paint for the National Gallery of Ireland.

The newly crowned Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, who stepped up to his easel and beat 54 other artists to win a £10,000 (€11,500) prize, discovered through the show that he is actually related to his subject.

After meeting Mr Norton for the first time to begin painting his portrait, he found they share family from Ballymena.

Mr Reid’s great-grandmother is the sister of Mr Norton’s great-grandfather.

“I still can’t quite take in the chances of me, out of all the people who entered, getting the opportunity to paint Graham, out of all the people they could have chosen and it turning out we’re third cousins,” said Mr Reid.

“My dad knew there was some connection a while back but only decided to tell me about a week after the final when we were in Kerry together.”

Some of his cousins thought there was a connection after Mr Norton featured in the BBC’s television series Who Do You Think You Are? in which celebrities trace their ancestry.

Mr Norton said it is a huge honour for him to have his portrait displayed in the National Gallery of Ireland.

“I apologise to the artist and the visitors to the gallery, but a combination of vanity and my mother’s excitement meant I couldn’t refuse,” he said.

In the final, Mr Reid, who is from Belfast and now lives and works as an artist in Glasgow, demonstrated his skills on the show with two paintings.

He created a finely detailed portrait of actor Tom Courtenay using charcoal, watercolour, pencil, and pastels. 

The other painting was a commissioned portrait of Judge Cheema-Grubb, the first Asian woman to serve as a high court judge in Britain.

Mr Reid won his heat in week six of the show with his portrait of TV presenter Adrian Chiles, before again impressing the judges in the semi-final with his portrayal of award-winning actress Imelda Staunton.

The other finalists were London-based US artist Kimberly Klauss and Lancashire’s Liam Dickinson.


More in this Section

The Joanne Hayes tapes — a young woman put on trial

€45k payouts for borrowers ripped off by the tracker mortgage scandal

Recalled patient numbers rise at Kerry hospital

GSOC submits plea for greater powers


Breaking Stories

Nóirín O’Sullivan to appear before Disclosures Tribunal

Gardaí appeal for witnesses to serious assault in Monaghan

Career guidance supports to be reviewed

Surgeons use 3D model of kidney to save Belfast mother’s life

Lifestyle

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner