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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 25 July, 2017
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This portrait of Graham Norton was unveiled in the National Gallery today

And, in a very Irish coincidence, the artist turned out to be Norton’s cousin.

OVER THE LAST year, Sky Arts has been running an international competition to find the Portrait Artist of the Year.

And last night, the results were announced.

Belfast man Gareth Reid was victorious – and the prize was an €11,000 commission to paint Graham Norton for the National Gallery of Ireland.

And today it was unveiled to the public in all its glory

It’s gone down ~very well~

And in a rather unlikely turn of events, the artist realised he was Graham’s third cousin only after he had sat for the portrait

grahamnorton1

Gareth told Sky:

My dad knew there was some connection a while back but only decided to tell me about a week after the final when we were in Kerry together. It was vague at that point – some cousins of his thought there was a connection through my granny’s side.
I still can’t quite take in the chances of me, out of all the people who entered, getting the opportunity to paint Graham, out of all the people they could have chosen, and it turning out we’re third cousins. As Graham aptly put it, “I’m embarrassed for Ireland”. He is genuinely a lovely guy and he took [my partner] Suzy and me out for dinner after the unveiling.

A wonderful coincidence, and a lovely portrait for all to see next time they visit the gallery:

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Written by David Elkin and posted on DailyEdge.ie

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