Ross quits BBC

Jonathan stands down after 13 years

Jonathan Ross has announced he is quitting the BBC after 13 years.

He said he is stepping down from Friday night chat show, Radio 2 show and film review programme, for which he is paid a reported £6 million a year.

But he has been targeted by the tabloids over his pay packet – pressure which intensified over the prank calls he and Russell Brand made to Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs have caused controversy in recent years.

Ross, 49, said in a statement that he had decided not to renegotiate his contract when it ends at the end of July.

He said: “Although I have had a wonderful time working for the BBC, and am very proud of the shows I have made while there, over the last two weeks I have decided not to re-negotiate when my current contract comes to an end.

‘I would like to make it perfectly clear that no negotiations ever took place and that my decision is not financially motivated… I would happily have stayed there for any fee they cared to offer, but there were other considerations.

‘I love making my Friday night talk show, my Saturday morning radio show and the Film Programme, and will miss them all. I look forward to continuing work on these shows until the summer, and I will continue hosting the Bafta Film Awards, Comic Relief and other BBC specials.

‘Working at the BBC has been a tremendous privilege, and I would like to thank everyone who has watched and listened so loyally over the last 13 years.’

On his Twitter page this morning, Ross wrote: ‘My day is turning out to be far more interesting then I had anticipated!’

Graham Norton has been widely tipped to replace Ross as the BBC's talk show king, and has just signed al £2million-a-year deal, a pay cut of £500,000 on his current salary.

Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said: 'Jonathan Ross has told us that he's decided not to pursue the renewal of his contract with the BBC.

'Jonathan is an extremely talented broadcaster and his programmes for BBC TV and rdio have been a great success.

Published: 7 Jan 2010

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