Bandon to unveil Norton statue

A Cork town is set to unveil a statue of its most famous son to celebrate The Gathering.

Organisers connected to Cork Rebel Week have commissioned a statue of BBC presenter Graham Norton to be crafted by a West Cork artist and erected in his home town of Bandon.

The presenter is a former student of Bandon Grammar where he has returned regularly in a charitable role.

It is hoped Norton will accept an invitation to return to the town once more and unveil the statue as part of The Gathering celebrations, which will run between Oct 14 and 20.

Nine Co Cork towns have been selected to host international marching bands during the event.

Spokesman Padraic Kane said: “All towns seeking to host marching bands during Cork Rebel Week had to detail their plans.

“The application from Bandon includes details of a statue of Graham Norton, though it is not known yet if he has accepted the invitation to unveil it.”

The towns selected to host marching bands from Britain, USA, Europe, and South America, are Clonakilty, Bantry, Cobh, Kinsale, Youghal, Mallow, Fermoy, Skibbereen, and Bandon.

Each host town has also drawn up a cultural programme of events for the duration of the festival. Highlights include Rebel Riverdance, markets, a Rebel Raft Race, musical events, historical reenactments, Michael Collins tours, and a busy schedule of children’s events.

Last May, Norton returned to officially open an extension at Bandon Grammar, a school with a history dating back 370 years.

The British-based BBC host also owns a holiday home outside Bantry. He graduated from Bandon Grammar 23 years ago.

He helped to raise over £1m (€1,185,600) for Comic Relief and also broke the Guinness world record for the most questions asked on a TV chat show earlier this month.


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