Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 1991

The prospect sounds unappealing: the Greatest Living Albanian, clad in Irish linen tea-towels, reciting the lyrics of a devotional song which turns out to be "Like A Virgin". The reality is much more gigglesome: Graham Norton has created a persona in which he is gleefully at home, chatting to the audience rather than pattering at them. His Mother T. speaks with a genteel Gaelic lilt, addressing her audience as "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, the Unborn", delivering brilliantly fakey mediumistic messages and explaining the Trinity with deft use of Tupperware cartons. Most tellingly, he/she succeeded in keeping in stitches a midnight house barely in double figures.

Written for The Independent.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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