Award-winning broadcaster, author, and much-loved chat-show host Graham Norton has taken remote working to a new level — he’s broadcasting his flagship UK weekend radio show from a satellite studio in West Cork.
The Bandon native, who has consistently been the UK’s top chat show host since the late 90s, and who spends summers in his holiday home in Ahakista, near Bantry, arrived into C103FM’s studios in Bandon this morning to broadcast the first of his Virgin Radio weekend shows live from Cork this summer to an audience of several million.
In previous years, when he was spending his summers in West Cork, he would have to jet from Cork to London on a Friday to continue presenting his weekend show.
But because C103 is owned by Wireless, the same company which owns Virgin Radio, it means Graham now only has to drive from Ahakista to Bandon for his weekend show, which goes out live between 9.30am and 12.30pm.
Kieran McGeary, the chief executive of Cork’s 96FM and C103FM, said there has been a lot of preparation and cooperation between engineering and IT colleagues in Cork and London to make it happen.
“It’s a very different set-up to what Graham is used to. Virgin is a new radio station, with state-of-the-art facilities in their studios in London and our facility in Bandon is a satellite studio,” Mr McGeary said.
“It shows that while we are a local radio station, we are also part of a much bigger wheel that opens more doors for us and other parts of the business.”
Norton, 57, stepped down at BBC Radio 2 last December after almost a decade with the station.
Thanks to the Wireless connection, Graham also recorded promos for 96FM and C103FM’s recent radiothon.
Norton has picked up almost every TV award going, including numerous BAFTAs, National Television Awards, and International Emmys.