GRAHAM Norton was in top form, as usual, last Friday night for his annual turn as MC for the Ahakista Festival Quiz.
The always-sold-out venture is the highlight of the small village festival, which scored a coup by getting the BBC’s top chat show host to agree to be its quizmaster every August bank holiday weekend. Tickets for the festival are like gold dust and can only be secured by joining an early morning queue in the village on the Saturday morning of the previous June bank holiday weekend.
The ‘hottest ticket in West Cork’ proved to be worth the effort yet again this year as the packed-out marquee saw locals, visitors and veteran Ahakista Quiz-goers enjoying the often bizarre questions and late-night raffle revelry.
Graham made just one brief reference to his recent marriage in Bantry House by commenting on a quiz question about gifts for an emerald wedding anniversary. ‘I’ll be 113 for mine,’ he joked.
There was huge excitement to see who would win the big yearly prize – two tickets to The Graham Norton Show at the BBC in London. The eventual winner was Bantry woman and journalist Alison O’Connor, who had been gifted the quiz tickets by a friend who had to cry off at the last minute.
After she informed Graham that her husband had just picked up the previous prize – a €100 restaurant voucher – the quizmaster commented: ‘I thought you looked a bit sheepish!’