Graham Norton – Can celebrities write good books?

Graham Norton is on the latest We’d Like A Word podcast and radio show that I present with Stevyn Colgan. We know that celebrity sells books, but do celebrities write good books? Books worth reading? I’m thinking fiction in particular.

I’m asking because although Graham Norton is well known as a comedian, a TV chat show host and forever immortalised as Fr Noel Furlong in Father Ted, he’s also an author. Two novels – Holding and A Keeper. I’ve read both. But are they any good? (Spoiler alert: They are. Especially A Keeper.)

Martine McCutcheon – yes, her off Love Actually

And even if Graham Norton can write, (he can), what about other celebs who’ve done it. Like Martine McCutcheon, who had a terrible public hammering for her efforts, and for whom I have a soft spot myself. And fair play to her for actually writing The Mistress herself. Unlike another celeb author who, when asked if she had written her novel herself, responded: “Write it? I didn’t even read it.”

There’s a celebrity authors subsection of Irish comedians who definitely can write fiction. As well as Graham Norton, you have Sean Hughes (The Detainees) and Ardal O’Hanlon (The Talk of the Town). But anyone else?

So you’ll be wanting to hear me and Stevyn Colgan and Graham Norton chatting about his books, how he writes them, the influence of Ireland and his Mum, and how linked they are to his public comedic personna. There’s a competition too, but you have to listen to hear about it. Click on the link here, or search for We’d Like A Word wherever you listen to podcasts.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your best and worst experiences of celebrity authored fiction.



Filed under art, We'd Like A Word

4 responses to “Graham Norton – Can celebrities write good books?

  1. Póló

    I know you’re doing fiction but some of your remarks brought to mind Brendan Grace’s (Bottler) autobiography “Amusing Grace.” I got it because he’s from around Echlin St./ James’s St. area of Dublin where some of my family are from. I thought I might get some atmospherics.

    Well I know its an autobiography but your remark about people keeping themselves out of the book but writing about what they know rang a bell here. The book is a disappointing saga in namedropping.

    As for the lady who didn’t even read her own book, that also jumped at me in relation to this book. There is a character mentioned called Mick Sereed that I felt I should know but couldn’t place. Eventually the penny dropped, Mickser Reid, the little dwarf fellow who was a comedy star in the Theatre Royal when I was growing up. Clearly Brendan’s slip is showing here, not properly reading his ghost writer/transcript before it went to press.


    • blackwatertown

      Embarrassing and revealing slip you noticed there.
      The We’d Like A Word podcast has been fiction so far, and the next few probably are too, but we have some non-fiction in the pipeline – including, we hope, a recording at the Natural History Museum in London. Will include some old fossils. Yes, that was a reference to the two presenters.

  2. Póló

    Nearly forgot to say, after all that, I enjoyed the podcast.

    • blackwatertown

      Thank you very much. I’m glad you did. (Which reminds me, we have to announce some competition winners.)

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