Graham strikes camp

TOP TV entertainer Graham Norton is to strike camp from his Cork city penthouse perch.

The Irish Channel 4 funny guy and presenter of V Graham Norton is off-loading a duplex apartment he bought two years ago in his native Cork a place he never even over-nighted in.

The 1,000-plus sq ft apartment on the South Terrace is a far cry from UCC student day digs in the early 1980s, before a move to San Francisco and then to the top of the British entertainment industry.

Graham Norton's hugely successful show runs five nights a week on Channel 4, and he has also brought it across the Atlantic to US cable: there's even a Japanese special, called Ah So Graham Norton.

He bought this lofty penthouse (well, on floors four and five) on South Channel Court, South Terrace, for about £200,000 or €250,000, and it is now on the market with a €350,000-plus guide quoted by Paul Reid and Sheila O'Flynn of Sherry FitzGerald.

"He's a lovely guy, a pleasure to deal with," was all Sheila O'Flynn would say about her high-profile client.

Norton (real name Graham Walker) has bought property investments in Britain and abroad, and is on the property prowl again in Ireland.

While he'll make a handy profit on the investment, it pales in comparison to his income.

The apartment isn't what you'd expect for a place owned by Graham Norton at least it doesn't reflect his outrageous dress sense.

He had plans to give it a total makeover, but never acted on them, and so viewers will be surprised by the conservatism of the unfurnished unit.

It has secure basement parking and lift access, two bedrooms, one with an en suite, main bathroom and utility at entry level, and overhead is one very large open living and kitchen space with west and north facing city views, and balcony.

The views include churches, Patrick's Hill, City Hall, the River Lee and Parliament Bridge and Sunday's Well, although the distant city views are the best: underneath a number of new developments are only getting off the ground.

Nearby, new apartments are being finished on Cotter's Street, planning is in for 36 new apartments behind listed red brick Mel House, and 50 student apartments are also being built in Rutland Street in a listed stone warehouse building.

An €8 million extension to St John's College is on site, and the South Infirmary Hospital is also to expand into the former Irish International Trading Corporation site. New but smaller apartments in the vicinity sell from €320,000 to €360,000.

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