BBC chat show host Graham Norton earned £3.5m in 2018

English-based Irish media presenter’s income mostly comes from production company

Graham Norton: “You cannot justify my wages, so I don’t try.” Photograph: Christopher Baines

Graham Norton: “You cannot justify my wages, so I don’t try.” Photograph: Christopher Baines


BBC chat show host Graham Norton last year received pay in excess of €3.4 million for presenting his Friday night TV show.

ITV-owned production firm So Television Ltd produces the Graham Norton Show and the pay by So Television to Norton is in addition to the £610,000 the BBC pays the entertainer each year for presenting his BBC Radio 2 show and for a range of programme and series that doesn’t include his chat show.

The combined pay from the BBC and So Television to Norton totals £3.582 million (€4.1 million) for the year.

Commenting on his wages Norton said: “You cannot justify my wages, so I don’t try. Am I still cashing the cheques? Yes, because somehow the market forces have decreed this is my value.”

The Graham Norton Show drives revenues at So Television and last year the firm recorded revenues of £15.89 million broken down between revenues from selling the show of £11.6 million in the UK and £4.25 million in the rest of the world.

So Television Ltd

Last year, So Television recorded pretax profits of £2.34 million.

Norton and producer of the Graham Norton show Graham Stuart sold So Television to ITV in 2012 with ITV agreeing to pay the two £10 million up front while a further £7 million was payable depending on its performance up to July 2016.

According to the directors’ report, “the Graham Norton show continued to perform very well, both in the UK and internationally”.

Norton established So Television Ltd with Mr Stuart in 2000.

Numbers employed by So Television remained the same at 26 last year and staff costs totalled £1.7 million.

Accumulated profits at the group last December totalled £16.7 million.

The firm last year paid only £1,286 in corporation tax. Based on the UK corporate tax rate, the firm would have liable to a tax bill of £445,030. However, mainly as a result of “group relief” totalling £451,042, the tax bill was £1,286.