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How did he not give in to depression during the wilderness years that followed university?
'I did become a little bitter when I was working as a barman. I always remember when I moved to London and I proudly showed my parents my favourite shirt shop, which I thought was so cool.
As a consequence Channel 4 gave him his own show, So Graham Norton, the next year.
While at university he had what he describes as a 'psychotic episode' in which he locked himself away for several weeks and collected dead flies.
In the early 1990s he decided he would try to earn a living from making people laugh, rather than do it for free.
His stand-up work led to him being given a cameo in Father Ted and this in turn led to him standing in for Jack Docherty for one fateful week in 1997.
In another wheeze he found people with funny names, such as Mrs Djerkoff and Mr Bollacks, and phoned them up.
To see in the new millennium, for instance, he asked a female guest on his show to fire 12 ping-pong balls from between her legs on the stroke of midnight.Where I get bored is when I show up for a shoot and they want me to wear a feather boa. So every gay personal as says "straight acting"."How straight acting? If you go to a gay club and the doorman says, "You do realise this is a gay club, don't you lads? I should have made more of a fuss.'Is it that he is just shallow? I do get pleasure from very inconsequential things, like shopping for clothes. What appeals to a mass audience, suddenly, overnight, fascinates me.