The Graham Norton Show TV Poster Image

The Graham Norton Show



Bawdy UK talk show has lots of suggestive content.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series showcases the latest popular celebs, who openly and positively discuss sexual topics, drug use, and drinking.

Positive role models

Norton routinely pokes fun at celebrities, royalty, and the general public. The show often includes stunts that aim to embarrass his celebrity guests or put audience members in awkward situations, but the subjects usually handle it well.

Not applicable

Dialogue is laden with innuendoes (including many about homosexuality, since Norton is openly gay), sex-themed jokes, and occasionally graphic discussions of sexual topics like stripping and sleeping with multiple partners. (For example, in one segment, a celebrity guest describes fans putting their fingers inside her during a mosh pit at a concert.) Pranks and stunts often include some element of sex, as when Norton encourages an audience member to remove her panties (off camera).


Frequent, audible use of "damn," "ass," and "s--t." Multiple variations on "f--k" are also common, but they're edited out.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Conversation routinely includes mentions of drinking and drug use; quips about drunkenness and drug abuse are often lighthearted, casting both behaviors in a positive light.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that few topics are off-limits in this bawdy UK talk show. Host Graham Norton and his celebrity guests often exchange risqué sexual innuendoes (including many that reference homosexuality, since Norton is openly gay) and discuss drinking, drug abuse, time spent in rehab, and other mature topics. Strong language is a major concern ("s--t" and "damn" are common, but all the "f--k"s are bleeped), as is the potential for graphic conversations about sexuality. Norton also pokes fun at celebrities and average citizens, often planning pranks to put them in uncomfortable situations.

What's the story?

Popular Irish comedian Graham Norton brings his trademark quick wit and flamboyant style to his self-titled talk show, which is devoted to his love of celebrity gossip, off-beat humor, and all things quirky. Following a similar pattern as most other late-night comedy shows, THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW opens with a monologue, in which Norton offers commentary on a range of topics including current events, celebrity goofs (with the British royal family as the butt of many of his jokes), and personal anecdotes. After that, he introduces his two guests, who join him on the show's homey set for the rest of the hour. Norton trades playful banter and clever quips with his willing celeb victims and toys with members of the live audience, often choosing people to join him onstage for games, skits, and stunts. Some episodes also feature a musical guest, who performs toward the show's end.

Is it any good?


It's easy to see why Norton has long been a popular TV personality in the UK. His razor-sharp wit and gift of gab keep his famous guests on their toes and his fans in stitches. But this talk show comes with a warning about mature themes for good reason: Conversations routinely include strong innuendo, graphic sex references, and lighthearted jokes that cast drinking and drug use in a positive light.

Since little is left unsaid (and what is said is peppered with strong language) and many of the audience stunts are laced with sexual dares (in one, Norton encourages a woman to remove her panties and run through the streets swinging them around), this is an iffy choice even for some teens. Guess that just means parents will have to save Norton for themselves.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different types of comedy. How does the humor in this show compare to others you like? Does the strong language or mature content tickle your funny bone or turn you off? Why? What role do shock value and controversy play in the success of a comedian's material? Do you think it's any more difficult to create comedy around non-controversial content? Why or why not?

TV details

Premiere date:June 2, 2007
Cast:Graham Norton
Network:BBC America
TV rating:TV-MA

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Teen, 13 years old Written bymacallisterburn March 11, 2009

Very Very Funny

The Graham Norton Show is hilarious. Graham is a comic genius! However, the show uses very strong adult humor which may not be approiate for some audiences. There is a lot of bad language and mention of sex, but in my opinion that is what makes it so funny. The show is probably fine for teenagers but not for kids.
Parent of a 5, 5, 8, and 10 year old Written bywhovianmother April 18, 2011
Great for parents and older teens to have a laugh at!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 16 years old Written bylane_gwyn June 27, 2009

Fun! Entertaining! Guests ranging from bad to wonderful, depends on which episode you watch.

It's insane how much more fun UK talk shows are than American ones. The Graham Norton show is particularly hilarious and fun. I would've been fine with this when I was 12 or 13, though perhaps enjoyment of it increases a bit as one makes one's way through the teen years (because less adult references will go right over one's head). Graham is an excellent host; he's effusive, fun, charming, etc. Some find him annoying, though, and the adult humor is definitely too much for children and conservative parents.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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