Ross pulls out of Comedy Awards

More fallout from obscene phone calls

Jonathan Ross has dropped out of presenting the 2008 British Comedy Awards.

ITV said it backed the presenter's decision amid the fallout from the obscene calls he and Russell Brand made to Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs.

Ross, 47, has been suspended from all BBC programmes for 12 weeks without pay as a result of the calls, costing him about £1.3million

The ceremony is still expected to go ahead on December 6, although no decision has been made over who will replace him. Last year’s awards were not broadcast because of the row over phone votes in an earlier ceremony.

A spokesman for Ross said: ‘It's a show he very much enjoys being part of but would not want his participation in this year's event to take away from the awards themselves or the many talented winners of the awards.’

The ITV director of television, Peter Fincham, added: ‘We respect Jonathan's decision to stand down from the 2008 British Comedy Awards which has been made with the full support of ITV and the show's producers.’

Ross has presented the show for the last 17 years.

Published: 31 Oct 2008

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