National Gallery of Ireland unveils portrait of Graham Norton

The painting was created by Gareth Reid, Sky Arts' Portrait Artist of the Year 2017

National Gallery of Ireland unveils portrait of Graham Norton

Gareth Reid's portrait of Graham Norton [Photo © National Gallery of Ireland]

The National Gallery of Ireland has unveiled a new portrait in its Millennium Wing, a specially commissioned painting of broadcaster, comedian, actor and author Graham Norton by Belfast-born artist Gareth Reid.

Reid, based in Glasgow, was announced as the winner of Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year 2017 on Tuesday evening. His pieces have been shown in Scotland, Ireland, England and Germany, featuring in both private and public collections in Europe and the US.

As the winning artist in the Sky Arts programme, Reid was commissioned to paint a portrait of Graham Norton for the National Gallery, with the oil on canvas piece gifted to the Irish museum.

Gareth Reid (b.1974, Belfast), Graham Norton (b.1963), Broadcaster, Comedian, Actor and Writer, 2017
Oil on canvas, 137 x 107cm. Gift to the National Gallery of Ireland from Storyvault Films/Sky Arts [Photo © National Gallery of Ireland]

Born Graham Walker in Bandon, Co Cork, Norton moved from Ireland to London in his early 20s, attending the Central School of Speech & Drama. Beginning his career as a stand-up comedian, he became immediately recognisable to viewers on both sides of the Irish Sea after a number of appearances as Fr Noel Furlong in the popular Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted in the 1990s.

Since then, Norton’s career has gravitated towards television and radio work, where he has become one of the most prolific and admired presenters on the BBC. A winner of seven BAFTA TV awards, Norton is now best known as the host of his self-titled chat show, which has become a BBC staple since 2007.

In 2016, the Irishman published his first novel, Holding, set in his native Cork. The novel claimed the ‘Popular fiction Book of the Year’ prize at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards, with Norton telling Newstalk’s Pat Kenny, “I know everywhere has stories, but there’s such a rich vein of them in Ireland.”

Gareth Reid’s portrait can now be viewed in the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin.

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