Wheel of Fortune host Graham Norton’s real name

And there's a reason behind the name change!

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Graham Norton is known as a loveable presenter to many, hosting his talk show and recently a game show called Wheel of Fortune.

The BBC star has been on our TV screens for decades. But did you know that Graham Norton is just his stage name and he has a different surname?

Graham Norton hosts Wheel of Fortune
Graham on Wheel of Fortune (Credit: ITV)

Graham Norton ‘real name’

The Wheel of Fortune star was born Graham William Walker on April 4, 1963. However, of course, his stage name is Graham Norton.

We bet you’re wondering why he changed his surname?

Well, upon joining the actors’ union Equity, he chose Norton – his great-grandmother’s maiden name – as his new surname as there was already an actor called Graham Walker represented by the union.

Graham Norton smiling at event
Graham’s real name is Graham William Walker (Credit Photo Brett D. Cove/

Graham Norton on almost losing his life

Elsewhere in Graham’s life, his career and life were almost cut short in the late 80s. In 1989, Graham was viciously stabbed during a terrifying mugging ordeal.

The comedian shared his horrific story in a book back in 2020, alongside stories from other celebrities about the NHS. Author Adam Kaye shared Graham’s tale during an appearance on This Morning around the time of the book’s release.

As a drama student for the first time and he got stabbed.

“Graham Norton, who tells the most extraordinary story, he has been the fixture in our lives for decades and you think you know someone,” said Adam.

“As a drama student for the first time and he got stabbed, not a bit stabbed, he got really stabbed.

“Lost half his blood volume, almost lost his life and he just arrived in London and describes the NHS as the safety net to catch us when we fall as the family he had left behind in Ireland.”

Speaking about the moment Graham thought he was going to die Adam continued: “There’s this chilling section where he asks this nurse, ‘Am I going to die?’

Graham Norton smiling at the BAFTAs
Graham is a household name (Credit:

“And the long pause that the nurse gave before her response made his flesh hug his bones,” he added.

What did Graham say about the incident?

Graham previously opened up about how the attack helped give him an entirely new perspective on life.

“It gave me real perspective on life and what mattered,” he told The Observer.

Read more: Graham Norton fans congratulate show over ‘best ever line-up’

He went on to share that “before that, I was at drama school, caught up in the search for success”.

“I went back to drama school and people were slamming doors because of the roles they got and I was like: ‘Uh, I nearly died. I’m just really happy to be alive’,” he said.

Celebrity Wheel of Fortune airs Sunday (March 3) from 5pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

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