Graham Norton: Brexit voters bought ‘a pack of lies’

TV host tells Late Late Show that UK should take Ireland’s lead and re-run referendum

Chat show host Graham Norton: It was the impact of Brexit on young people that was “the most depressing thing”. File photograph: PA Images on behalf of So TV

Chat show host Graham Norton: It was the impact of Brexit on young people that was “the most depressing thing”. File photograph: PA Images on behalf of So TV

 

People who voted for Brexit bought “a pack of lies”, chat show host Graham Norton has said.

In an interview on The Late Late Show on Friday night, Norton said he was “astonished” people in Britain had voted to leave the EU and said he feared its impact on young people.

“I was astonished that people bought the pack of lies they were sold and I feel sorry for the people who voted for it because they were lied to,” Norton told ‘Late Late’ host Ryan Tubridy.

“They were promised things that are never going to happen and they were told [about] the things that are now unfolding: ‘Oh don’t worry, that won’t happen’,” he said.

‘The most depressing thing’

Norton said that although people will focus on the economy, it was the impact of Brexit on young people that was “the most depressing thing”.

“What is great about being young is you’ve so many options. Life - all the doors are open, every door is open,” he said in the pre-recorded interview.

“What is so sad about Brexit is that people over 60 - because it was people over 60 passed that thing - closed so many doors on young people and shut down options. Shut down options about studying abroad, living abroad, working in places.

“It just seemed absolutely the wrong instinct. Don’t make the world smaller, don’t shut things down. I understand where the fear comes from but, actually, I think it is sad,” he said.

Cork-born Norton added that Britain should have taken Ireland’s lead and run the referendum again.

“You do think: ‘Do you not see what they do in Ireland?’ If you get the wrong answer, you ask again! It was a no-brainer.”

‘Almost offended’

The Bafta award-winning presenter of The Graham Norton Show on BBC1 said he was “almost offended” that he hadn’t been targeted for attention by the media in the same way as other BBC personalities.

“It is sort of in my mind a bit more because of the BBC, the nature of the BBC and the way that the BBC is funded. [In] the papers, it is like there is a whiteboard in the office and they have names on it: ‘Who are we going to get next?’ - Jonathan Ross - boom; Jeremy Clarkson - boom; Chris Evans - boom.

“I am almost offended they haven’t come for me yet but they have to be on their way. Just to give the BBC a kicking and to say ‘right, we’ll get rid of him then’,” he said.

Norton, who previously hosted his chat show on Channel 4, said moving to the BBC brought a different dynamic to how people’s work was received.

“You realise the papers will always hate the BBC more than you. So, even if you get a bad review, the BBC are terrible for showing it. Somehow it is their fault, not yours. Whereas on a commercial broadcaster like Channel 4, it’s your fault, you’ve done that thing,” he said.