Ross quits BBC

The controversial broadcaster announced on Thursday (07Jan10) he will leave the corporation when his $29 million (£18 million), three-year deal comes to an end in July (10).

He has worked at the BBC since 1997, fronting his ratings-winning Friday Night With Jonathan Ross chat show and a Saturday morning radio slot.

In a statement, Ross says: “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… 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.”

In recent years, Ross’ career has been peppered with controversy over his racy interviews. In 2008, he was suspended for 12 weeks after making prank calls to Fawlty Towers legend Andrew Sachs on funnyman Russell Brand’s radio show.