Graham Norton summed up the mood of the nation with his unifying and moving message at the beginning of his chat show on Friday evening.
Four days after Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester became the scene of a bloodbath that cost the lives of 22 people, the Irish host spoke straight to camera, saying:
“Normally at the start of the show we take a look at some of the funny things that have been going on in the world.
“Sometimes the world isn’t a very funny place, especially after the terrible event in Manchester. So tonight all we are going to do is bring you a bit of distraction.”
He continued: “We’ll do some jokes, chat about films and books, listen to music, tell some silly stories and flip some people on a big red chair, and we hope it brings a smile.
“We record this show in London. I live in London. But we are watched not only the length and breadth of Britain, but also around the world too, and that gives me the chance to say, Manchester, we are all standing with you.”
Graham is not the first star to make a gesture of support since the tragedy occurred.
Take That cancelled their Liverpool gig on Tuesday night, and then donated all proceeds from their Friday concert to Manchester’s Emergency Fund.
Katy Perry was moved to tears as she spoke ahead of a small London gig on Thursday.
Ariana Grande sent a message of support to her fans on Tuesday, saying she was “broken” by the events. She has since vowed to return to the city to perform a charity gig, with some sources claiming this could take place as soon as Sunday 4 June.