Jonathan Ross Quits BBC After 13 Years

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Jonathan Ross Quits BBC After 13 Years

Post  Andrea on Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:03 am

Jonathan Ross has quit the BBC after 13 years.

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

His salary, a reported £18 million over three years, and the scandal over actor Andrew Sachs have recently caused controversy.

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.

"While there I have worked with some of the nicest and most talented people in the industry and had the opportunity to interview some of the biggest stars in the world, and am grateful to the BBC for such a marvellous experience.

"I would like to make it perfectly clear that no negotiations ever took place and that my decision is not financially motivated.

"I signed my current contract with the BBC having turned down more lucrative offers from other channels because it was where I wanted to be and - as I have said before - 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."

After the announcement he thanked fans for their support on the social networking site Twitter.

He tweeted: "Thanks for all the kind words about my decision. I feel sad that i can't keep making the shows so many of you love!"

Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said she could "understand" Ross's decision "following a difficult year".

She said: "Jonathan is an extremely talented broadcaster and his programmes for BBC TV and radio have been a great success.

"However, it's been a difficult year for him and I understand why he feels it's the right thing to do."

Alan Yentob, the BBC's Creative Director, told Sky News that no decision had been made on who would replace Ross.

Matt Smith, Sky's Showbiz correspondent, said: "Jonathan Ross uses Twitter quite a lot to communicate what's he's thinking.

"He had said yesterday, intriguingly enough, that he had to get to a very important meeting in the centre of London because someone had flown in from Los Angeles to talk to him - this was despite the snow and the problems that hit London.

"That makes you think initially - it's a bit of speculation perhaps - that's he's going to the US.

"But really, this has come out of the blue. The Sachsgate row has blown over and he was getting on with things at the BBC."

Ross has been one of the biggest faces at the BBC, with his Friday night chat show, his Radio 2 show and his film review programme.

Ahead of the announcement he wrote on his Twitter page: "Good morning. My day is turning out to be far more interesting then I had anticipated! See you later - have a good one."

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