Graham Norton caught out throwing a sickie

Graham Norton was spotted out on the town with Nigella Lawson. Photo / Supplied
Graham Norton was spotted out on the town with Nigella Lawson. Photo / Supplied

It's the first rule of calling in sick ... don't be seen out with your friends the night before.

But it seems nobody had told Graham Norton. The British chat show host failed to turn up for his 10am Radio 2 slot just hours after being spotted out on the town with TV chef Nigella Lawson, 54.

Norton posed for cameras at media mogul Evgeny Lebedev's glitzy summer party on Friday night (British time) before whiling away the evening with friends including actress Elizabeth Hurley, 49, and comedian Ruby Wax, 61.

But the next morning, the star - who is paid £2.3 million (NZ$4.5 million) by the BBC - left his colleagues to muddle through his three-hour show without him.

Presenter Maria McErlane, 56, stepped in to tell listeners Norton had "been up all night being sick".

By the afternoon, however, he was back on his feet and walking his dog near his 1.5 million home in Wapping, East London. Approached by a reporter who asked about his health, he replied: "I'm okay, thanks."

There are also reports the 51-year-old may have been well enough by Saturday evening to attend the first big British concert by Austrian singer Conchita Wurst, 25, who won the Eurovision Song Contest.

The presenter's representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

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