After being awarded the special recognition prize at National Television Awards on Wednesday night, Graham Norton made sure he took some time to reflect on his close friend Carrie Fisher. The 53-year-old paid a loving tribute to the late Star Wars actress, who passed away last month.
"What's odd with Carrie is that she was one of the very few guests that I actually became friends with," he told reporters at the event. "I think there's a common misapprehension that I am friends with many of the people who come on the show, and I'm not. But with me and Carrie, our worlds collided and we knew each other very well for quite a long time and so, when she died, it was such a shock."
Graham Norton paid a heartfelt tribute to close friend Carrie Fisher at the NTAs
Carrie died aged 60 from a heart attack she suffered on a plane from London to Los Angeles just days before Christmas. One day later, her mother and Singin' In the Rain star Debbie Reynolds passed away aged 84 after a suspected stroke at her son's Beverly Hills home.
"I know she's gone," Graham added. "But it hasn't quite sunk in that she's not on planet earth anymore, particularly because she's so present. If you want to see her, you go on YouTube, you go to the movies, you get a DVD out. She will live on forever."
"It hasn't quite sunk in that she's not on planet earth anymore," he said
The TV chat show host was honoured with the Special Recognition Award at the NTAs ceremony, where he was praised for his incredible television career, which includes The Graham Norton Show, Eurovision and his role on Father Ted.
"Thanks so much to the NTAs for this," he told the audience. "I don't quite know what to say because legions of people have worked on the show over the years… To keep a show on the air for that long isn't that easy, and in my case it's sort of a miracle. I’m not the funniest, I'm not the hardest worker, but I am the luckiest."