Norton laughing all the way to the bank

BBC chat show host and comedian Graham Norton is laughing all the way to the bank after receiving €3m in fees and dividends from his production firm last year.

The Irish-born comedian received £2.1m (€2.59m) in fees and an additional £400,000 in dividends from London-based So Television Ltd last year.

Norton’s boost in fortunes —with his fee income increased by 38% from £1.5m to £2.1m last year — coincided with the multi-award winning TV presenter securing the prime-time Friday night chat show slot on the BBC, taking over from Jonathan Ross.

The 49-year-old’s fees dwarf the income of any of Ireland’s best-known TV personalities, working here, including Ryan Tubridy and Pat Kenny.

Born in Dublin and raised in Bandon, Co Cork, his So Television Ltd company produces The Graham Norton Show. Figures show pre-tax profits increased by 42% from £861,741 to £1.2m last year.

Accounts filed to Companies House in Britain show revenues at the firm increased by 37%, £3.2m, to £11.8m in the 12 months to the end of July 2011.

Norton first shot to prominence in 1996 for his part of Father Noel Furlong in Father Ted, first broadcast on Channel 4, before he hosted his own chat show on the channel.

He established the production firm with business partner and executive producer of The Graham Norton Show, Graham Stuart, in 2000 and the figures show the two had a 50/50 split of a dividend payout of £800,000 following a dividend payout of £1m in 2010.


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