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Movies & TV

22nd Oct 2023

Graham Norton makes apology to Fermoy after town insulted on show

Simon Kelly

Graham Norton Apology

Justice prevails.

Graham Norton has apologised after a guest on his show last week called the Cork town of Fermoy “horrible.”

While in the ‘Big Red Chair’ segment of his show – where an audience member tells an anecdote to be judged by the guests – a woman called Zoe told Norton she had lived in the Cork town for 20 years, before quickly following up by saying it is a “horrible, horrible town.”

In response to Norton saying that there was a “big pencil” in the town – in reference to the Faber Castell factory sign – she added, “It’s got a bridge if people want to jump off it.”

The comments were followed by a backlash from Fermoy residents, with local Fine Gael councillor and Tidy Towns committee chairman Noel McCarthy saying they were “horrified”, adding that complaints would be lodged.

Graham Norton Fermoy

Graham Norton apologises to Fermoy for “horrible town” comments

On his show on Friday, October 20, the Cork native began the ‘Big Red Chair’ segment with a brief acknowledgement of the drama and issued an apology.

“Before we do anything, I must begin with an apology,” he started.

“Last week, in the red chair, there was someone who was less than kind about the town of Fermoy.

“Well, suffice to say, the people of Fermoy were not happy – they were quite upset about it! So we’d like to apologise.”

Norton, who hails from Bandon, added that he had defended the east Cork town after guest’s criticism of it, mentioning the “big pencil”. However he apologised again because “apparently the big pencil has been removed.”

“However, on the upside, Fermoy did win the cleanest town in Ireland in 2007 and 2018 so I’d imagine it’s still quite clean. Big up to Fermoy,” he said.

Fermoy Councillor welcomes Graham Norton apology

After the episode of Graham Norton’s show aired, councillor McCarthy said the apology was a “great boost” to the town of Fermoy.

“It was a great boost for us because, as you could imagine, the comments from Zoe the week before really upset us here in Fermoy, and especially our Tidy Towns committee, because we’re very proud of the town,” he told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland on Monday.

“We have a good, hardworking committee led by our project manager, Paul. And as you can imagine, the committee of volunteers certainly were disappointed.”

Cllr McCarthy added that while “no publicity is bad publicity, at the same time, we want to put the record straight.

“But yes, we are serious and we encourage people to come to Fermoy. And the right message has been sent out with the apology. And Fermoy is a good place to live, to visit. And we’re really very, very proud of our town.”

It seems like justice has indeed prevailed for the residents of Fermoy, who can now sleep easy with their clean reputation restored.

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