Graham Norton has opened up about his terrifying experience of being stabbed in 1989 and said knife crimes happen because people have been “dehumanised”.
The gay Irish television personality was attending drama school in London in 1989 when he was stabbed in the chest. He lost more than half of his blood in the incident.
He has now spoken out about knife crime, telling The Mirror it happens because of “a lack of imagination”.
People don’t understand consequences of knife crime, Graham Norton says.
“People are losing their lives and equally, the stabbing people, their life is destroyed for nothing, for this stupid thing because they couldn’t get their heads around the consequences,” Norton said.
Somehow people have been dehumanised.
“If you had the empathy, that level of imagination to think it through, that the person you’re stabbing could be a brother, friend, sister, mother or father, you wouldn’t do it.
“Somehow people have been dehumanised,” he continued.
He also said he believes knife crime is “more about economics than modern society”.
“It’s about people with nothing and if you’ve got nothing to lose, that’s a really scary place to be.”
Stabbing in 1989 was ‘touch and go’.
Norton has opened up on a number of occasions about his near-fatal stabbing in 1989. He had recently moved to London from Ireland to study drama when the incident occurred.
“I didn’t even realise I’d been stabbed in that classic way, because your adrenaline is pumping,” Norton said in 2003.
“I looked down, and I saw all this blood.
“I lost a bit over half my blood. So it was very touch and go, I think.”
In 2009, he described the incident as “a waking hell”.
“Everything dissolved into sheets of white, and waves of weakness swamped over me.”
Graham Norton left Ireland because of homophobia.
The television host is best known for fronting The Graham Norton Show on BBC 1, and has published two novels in recent years.
He grew up in Ireland before moving to the UK where he forged his career. Last year, he revealed that he could have ended up dead in a ditch if he came out in Ireland.
Speaking to Press Association, he said: “Ireland’s a great one for ignoring problems. There were no gay people, so you couldn’t be homophobic.
“It’s like there was no racism because there was no other race. We had to hate Catholics and Protestants because there was no one else to hate!”