School’s in as Norton gets his Ps and Qs right at Bandon Grammar

From Bandon to the BAFTAs and back again. Yesterday Graham Norton returned to the alma mater, “that boxy building on a hill on the way to Clonakilty”, and gave something of a blueprint for navigating the ley lines of youth and growing up.

School’s in as Norton gets his Ps and Qs right at Bandon Grammar

From Bandon to the BAFTAs and back again. Yesterday Graham Norton returned to the alma mater, “that boxy building on a hill on the way to Clonakilty”, and gave something of a blueprint for navigating the ley lines of youth and growing up.

Back at Bandon Grammar School for the launch of a history of the second-level facility, the past pupil recalled his own days in an ill-fitting uniform, when he made a decision to swap sports for the library.

“You have moments where you go ‘how did this happen?’ and ‘how did I get here?’”, he said when asked what it felt like to be back, almost 40 years since his student days. “It’s not that I think kids want to do what I do, if you see someone from where you are from doing well, it makes things seem possible.” In terms of advice to his younger self, he would urge him not to worry so much.

“If I could go back and talk to the boy I was, running around in a uniform that was always either too small or too big, never quite right, I would tell him to worry less. When it boils down to it, life is a series of choices and consequences. The trick is to think about the consequences before you make the choice,” he said.

The book covers the history of a school that lays claim to being the oldest in Munster, dating from 1642/43. And with all due respect to them and other past pupils, such as Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane and Munster’s Darren Sweetnam, none are quite as famous as the man who still gives his mum a shout-out every year while commentating on the Eurovision.

Teacher Ronan McMahon getting a selfie with Graham Norton who was in Bandon, Co Cork yesterday where he launched a new book by Ian Coombes, Bandon Grammar School A History. Picture Dan Linehan
Teacher Ronan McMahon getting a selfie with Graham Norton who was in Bandon, Co Cork yesterday where he launched a new book by Ian Coombes, Bandon Grammar School A History. Picture Dan Linehan

He promised to namedrop the school on his radio show and said how the new book works as academic research, social history, and as a walk down memory lane.

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