Friday, August 8, 2008

The Graham Norton Mystery

Living where we do, we see quite a lot of Graham Norton. Anyone in the UK with a television will find it rather hard to avoid him, but Maggie and I live quite near to him and regularly see him walking his dogs around Wapping.

The ubiquitous Graham Norton

When I was first looking for a flat in Wapping and was being shown around the neighborhood by an agent, he told me that Graham Norton lived in the area, but "despite his bubbly persona on TV, he looks like grim death in person." Now I wouldn't go quite as far as "grim death" but he does adopt a definite "don't bother me" scowl as he trots around with his dogs or peruses the pasta section in Waitrose. To be honest, I don't want to bother him at all, but I do want to pet his nice looking dogs, especially the big fluffy labradoodle named Bailey.

Graham Norton and his doggies

After seeing his dogs repeatedly, on one recent occasion I had a sudden realization. Back in April when we had a snowy day in London, we posted a picture of dogs playing in the snow in the park. At the time, we thought it was weird: as far as we could tell, we were completely alone in the park apart from the dogs. We looked around for their owner, but absolutely no one was around and it was totally silent apart from the happy dog noises. And the strangest thing of all, if you haven't figured it out already, was that the snowy dogs were Graham Norton's dogs.

The three photos of Graham Norton's labradoodles in the snow

Graham Norton loves his dogs and is regularly photographed with them, and I have never seen him let them off the leash. The thought that he would have let his dogs run free in the park while he was off buying a latte seems rather unlikely. Could Graham Norton have been in the park and we simply didn't see him?

Being a studious watcher of Matlock, I went back to the photographic evidence. Using fancy forensic techniques (a.k.a. fiddling around in Photoshop), I soon discovered the truth, and a recon mission to the park provided confirmation: Graham Norton was hiding in the bushes while we snapped pictures of his dogs.

An enhanced photograph proving that Graham Norton was hiding in the bushes. Graham Norton footprints indicated by the dashed line.

In the original pictures, it didn't look like there was anywhere that a person could have been hidden from view, but on a recent return trip to the park I found that there was indeed a hiding place. As you walk towards the shrubbery (see above photo), a hollow just barely big enough for one petite comedian soon becomes evident. This "Norton Niche", as I am calling it, was where Graham Norton must have been hiding on that snowy April day.

Returning to the scene of the mystery

Rounding the bend

The Norton Niche

That's one mystery solved. Whether Graham Norton was using the Norton Niche for shelter from the snow, specifically to hide from us in fear that we might ask him for an autograph, or maybe he simply thought it was a cool fort, we may never know.


Anonymous said...

I have two doodles and foster several. they never stray far from their people, so your suspicions have merit.

It is great that he has a doodle.

steve said...

C'mon dude... he was doing what any guy hiding in the bushes of a public park does... getting his [boots shined] by the other guy hiding in the bushes with him!

London cannot be that different than SF or NYC.

Jordan said...

Haha, excellent work Andy! I am looking forward to the next installment, where you find photographic evidence of Graham Norton on the grassy knoll!

maleha said...

I used to live in those flats, jackman house, but moved to garnet street and I too saw Graham Norton walking his dogs.
I feel all special now.

Natalie said...

This is amazing, i've just moved to Wapping and i was screaming theres Graham Norton...Thanks for confirming this for me. Hopefully his furry friends will become friends with mine and we can have cups of tea together

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