Jonathan Ross quits BBC

CONTROVERSIAL TV Star Jonathan Ross is quitting the BBC, it was revealed today.

CONTROVERSIAL broadcaster Jonathan Ross revealed today that he is quitting the BBC.

He has been one of the corporation's biggest faces over the last 13 years, hosting his Friday night chat show, the Film Programme and Radio 2 morning show as well as presenting the BBC Three series Japanorama and hosting the BAFTA Film Awards.

His reported �18million salary over three years and the Andrew Sachs telephone scandal have continued to dog him.

There was outrage when Ross and Russell Brand left a series of lewd voice messages on the veteran comedy actor's answering machine, including comments about his granddaughter Georgina Baille.

The BBC and Ofcom both launched investigations.

Brand and Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas resigned from the BBC and Ross was suspended without pay for 12 weeks last October.

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In a statement, the 49-year-old 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.”