Inside Graham Norton’s ‘disastrous’ relationship with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Tina Burner
26th February 2021

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National treasure Graham Norton holds a special place in all our hearts, but especially in that of RuPaul’s Drag Race star Tina Burner.

Turns out Tina Burner – whose real name is Kristian Seeber – had another brush with stardom in the early-to-mid-noughties when she dated the Irish television presenter. The pair dated on-and-off, eventually moving in together which – according to Graham – “was a disaster.”

The New York drag artist is among this year’s crop of queens battling it out to become America’s next drag superstar. When fellow competitor Rosé brought up Tina’s “fling” with Graham, Tina quickly corrected her. “I love how you say ‘fling.’ I was in a relationship,” she clarified.

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She continued: “Graham is so famous, he’s at that level where your life is just like put on a platform. He’s such a great guy and it never ever got to him. It was the most amazing thing.”

Graham, who often features as a judge on the UK version of the television show, also opened up about the pair’s relationship in his 2014 memoir; ‘The Lifes and Loves of a He Devil.'

The 57-year-old revealed that he met Kristian for the first time in New York’s Barracuda bar. Graham described Kristian as “tall and broad-shouldered with an easy smile that took up half his face.”

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Graham admits to being head over heels with the drag star during their time together, but their relationship was not popular amongst his buddies. He wrote: “If he [Kristian] was judged solely on his behaviour, then I concede he was not great boyfriend material.”

During Drag Race, Tina appeared to confirm this in a confessional VT. She said: “I remember people passing judgement on me right away when they don’t even know me. ‘Are you after his money? Are you this? Are you that?’ I mean people want to draw their own opinions.”

However, Graham seemed to see a softer side of the queen. “What they [his friends] couldn’t see was the special spark that fires within him [Kristian]: when he decides to shine his light on you, it makes you feel as special as he is.”

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The pair dated for months, broke up, but then got back together with Kristian moving in with Graham in London. However, their relationship wasn’t meant to be.

When reminiscing on their final stint together, Graham wrote that “the experiment lasted for about six months and it was a disaster.”

He continued: “I realise that even to a perfect stranger the outcome would have been glaringly obvious, but when you are in the middle of something and you are desperate for it to work, you’ll try anything.”

Graham also details how Kristian ended their romance “over lunch in an empty restaurant.” After which he “walked home, finding some comfort in the fact that a man in his mid-forties could still feel such heartache.”

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